Countdown 1945 (Hardcover)

The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

By Chris Wallace, Mitch Weiss

Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster, 9781982143343, 320pp.

Publication Date: June 9, 2020

Other Editions of This Title:
Library Binding, Large Print (7/8/2020)
CD-Audio (6/9/2020)

List Price: 30.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

From Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday, comes an electrifying behind-the-scenes account of the secret meetings and events across the globe during the 116 days leading up to the world’s first use of the atomic bomb in wartime—the American attack on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

April 12, 1945: After years of bloody conflict in Europe and the Pacific, America is stunned by news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. Countdown 1945 tells the gripping true story of the turbulent days, weeks, and months to follow, leading up to August 6, 1945, when new President Harry Truman gives the order to unleash the world’s first atomic bomb. Featuring some of history’s most remarkable leaders, page-turning action, and vivid details, Countdown 1945 is a thrilling narrative of the covert meetings and pivotal developments that took place in the United States and around the world during the volatile spring and summer of 1945.

Countdown 1945 takes readers inside the minds of the iconic and elusive figures who join the quest for the bomb, each for different reasons: the legendary Albert Einstein, who eventually calls his vocal support for the atomic bomb “the one great mistake in my life”; lead researcher Robert “Oppie” Oppenheimer and the Soviet spies who secretly infiltrate his team; the fiercely competitive pilots of the plane selected to drop the bomb; and many more. Perhaps most of all, Countdown 1945 is the story of an untested new president confronting a decision that he knows will change the world forever. Truman’s journey during these 116 days is a story of high drama: from the shock of learning of the bomb’s existence, to the conflicting advice he receives from generals like Eisenhower and George Marshall, to wrestling with the devastating carnage that will result if he gives the order to use America’s first weapon of mass destruction.

But Countdown 1945 is more than a book about the atomic bomb. It’s also an unforgettable account of the lives of ordinary American and Japanese civilians in wartime—from “Calutron Girls” like Ruth Sisson in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to ten-year-old Hiroshima resident Hideko Tamura, who survives the blast at ground zero but loses her mother, and later immigrates to the United States, where she lives to this day—as well as American soldiers fighting in the Pacific, waiting in fear for the order to launch a possible invasion of Japan. Told with vigor, intelligence, and humanity, Countdown 1945 is the definitive account of one of the most consequential moments in history.


About the Author

Chris Wallace is the anchor of Fox News Sunday, Fox Broadcasting’s Sunday morning public affairs program. He joined Fox News in 2003. In his sixteen years at Fox, Wallace has covered almost every major political event, and he has interviewed U.S. and world leaders, including seven American presidents. Wallace was the first journalist from Fox News to moderate a general election presidential debate in October 2016. Throughout his fifty-plus years in broadcasting, Wallace has won every major broadcast news award for his reporting, including three Emmy Awards, the Dupont-Columbia Silver Baton, and the Peabody Award.

Mitch Weiss is a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist for the Associated Press, covering subjects ranging from military misconduct, government corruption, and white-collar crimes to the housing meltdown and unsafe medical devices. He is also the critically acclaimed author or coauthor of seven books.


Praise For Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

“There is no finer journalist in America today than Chris Wallace and no more dramatic story in American history than Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb. Countdown 1945 moves at a breakneck pace and even though you know the ending, you can’t put it down. This is the most exciting book I’ve read all year.”
—Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired), #1 New York Times bestselling author of Make Your Bed and Sea Stories

“As a reporter and a news anchor, Chris has been at the center of the biggest news stories of the last four decades. He’s given perspective and insight when we’ve needed it most. Now, his same attention to detail fills the pages of Countdown 1945, the story of arguably the most consequential event in the U.S. since the Civil War. It’s a stunning piece of work.”
—George Clooney

Countdown 1945 goes beyond our history lessons. It tells moving, personal stories of Americans who played pivotal roles in one of our most important moments as a nation. From scientists at the top of their field, to heroic members of our military, to everyday Americans, it’s an incredible story of how our country came together with a determined spirit to end a war and save countless lives.”
—Ambassador Nikki Haley, New York Times bestselling author of With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace 

Countdown 1945 is a real-life thriller about one of the most important events of the twentieth century. Veteran journalist Chris Wallace takes readers behind the scenes and brings to life the compelling story of the 116 days leading up to Hiroshima. Written like a spy novel, this is a must-read history that will educate and keep you turning the pages. Not to be missed!”
—Daniel Silva, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The New Girl

“Vivid, fast-paced, and wide-ranging, Countdown 1945 is a fine telling of one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable tales—how the United States designed, built, delivered, and detonated the first two atomic bombs over Japan.”
—Rick Atkinson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Army at Dawn and The British Are Coming