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Trinity

The Treachery and Pursuit of the Most Dangerous Spy in History

Frank Close

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Penguin
04 November 2020
History; The Cold War; Espionage & secret services; Nuclear weapons; Nuclear structure physics
'Trinity' was the codename for the test explosion of the atomic bomb in New Mexico on 16 July 1945. This exceptional book - Trinity - tells the story of the bomb's metaphorical father, Rudolf Peierls; his intellectual son, the atomic spy, Klaus Fuchs, and the ghosts of the security services in Britain, the USA and USSR.Against the background of pre-war Nazi Germany, the Second World War and the following Cold War, the book traces how Peierls brought Fuchs into his family and his laboratory, only to be betrayed. It describes how Fuchs became a spy, his motivations and the information he passed to his Soviet contacts, both in the UK and after he went with Peierls to join the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos in 1944. Frank Close is himself a distinguished nuclear physicist- uniquely, the book explains the science as well as the spying. Fuchs returned to Britain in August 1946 and became central to the UK's independent effort to develop nuclear weapons. Close describes the febrile atmosphere at Harwell, the nuclear physics laboratory near Oxford, and the charged relationships which developed there, and shows how - despite mistakes made by both MI5 and the FBI - the net gradually closed around Fuchs, building an intolerable pressure which finally cracked him.The Soviet Union exploded its first nuclear device in August 1949, far earlier than the US or UK expected. In 1951, the US Congressional Committee on Atomic Espionage concluded, 'Fuchs alone has influenced the safety of more people and accomplished greater damage than any other spy not only in the history of the United States, but in the history of nations'. This book is the most comprehensive account yet published of these events, and of the tragic figure at their centre.
By:   Frank Close
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   385g
ISBN:   9780141986449
ISBN 10:   0141986441
Pages:   528
Publication Date:   04 November 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Frank Close is Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics at Oxford University and Fellow Emeritus in Physics at Exeter College, Oxford. He was formerly Head of the Theoretical Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell, vice president of the British Association for Advancement of Science and Head of Communications and Public Education at CERN. He was awarded the Kelvin Medal of the Institute of Physics for his 'outstanding contributions to the public understanding of physics' in 1996, an OBE for 'services to research and the public understanding of science' in 2000, and the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for communicating science in 2013. As a young man he worked with Rudolf Peierls, in circumstances he describes in this book.

Reviews for Trinity: The Treachery and Pursuit of the Most Dangerous Spy in History

He has delved into the archives to produce a remarkable story ... meticulous but highly readable -- Manjit Kumar * The Times * Engrossing, brilliantly researched ... The scale of Fuchs's spying was astounding, as were its consequences -- Jay Elwes * Spectator * A brilliant new biography ... The book introduces crucial changes to ... the official version of events. -- Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * A masterclass in thriller writing, it bears comparison with the most gripping spy sagas of Ben Macintyre -- Graham Farmelo * Guardian *


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