Steve Olson is the author of Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens (winner of a Washington State Book Award), Mapping Human History (a finalist for the National Book Award), and other books. He has written for the Atlantic, Science, Smithsonian, and more. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
A compulsively readable blend of science and storytelling...The Apocalypse Factory is a carefully researched tale of inventive genius, state-authorized mass murder, and the supertoxic legacy of a federal bomb-making mess that will never be cleaned up. -- Blaine Harden, author of Escape from Camp 14 and A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia The Apocalypse Factory traces the pathway from the discovery of plutonium to the rise of immense production facilities in Washington State to fuel the US nuclear arsenal, with riveting details about the nearly aborted mission to bomb Nagasaki...Steve Olson leaves much to ponder, and he calls on our collective ingenuity to address the threat that nuclear weapons pose today. -- Cynthia C. Kelly, president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation A gripping story of a time when the fate of the world lay on the line as the United States and Germany raced to translate scientific discoveries into decisive weapons of war. Anyone who has questioned whether investment in science matters must read this book. Anyone who hasn't will want to. -- Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences Hanford, the vast complex that bred plutonium for the first atomic bombs on the banks of the mighty Columbia River in eastern Washington, has never had its full story told. Steve Olson now meets that challenge in a lively, dramatic, thrilling narrative of wartime crisis and scientific brilliance. -- Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb