The Best Books On The First Postwar Atomic Bomb Tests At The Bikini Atoll in 1946 (Operations Crossroads)

The Books I Picked & Why

Operation Crossroads: The Official Pictorial Record

By Joint Task Force One

Operation Crossroads: The Official Pictorial Record

Why this book?

The book was published in November 1946 by the U.S. Government, just months after Tests Able and Baker in July at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Serious safety concerns about radiation contamination were coming to light and the book was withdrawn from circulation shortly after publication. In 1947, a re-write of the book was published and titled Bombs at Bikini: The Official Report of Operation Crossroads. This book had fewer photographs and of a less graphic nature. However, for my memoir as a Crossroads participant, I was glad to find a copy of the original out-of-print book for my research.


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The Bomb And Its Deadly Shadow: A Memoir

By Dean Warren

The Bomb And Its Deadly Shadow: A Memoir

Why this book?

The author of this book was a Crossroads participant. Furthermore, the author’s father, Dr. Stafford L. Warren, was head of the Medical Section of the Manhattan Project; then headed up the postwar survey of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and was then appointed by the Navy to serve as Chief Radsafe (Radiologic Safety Section) at Crossroads. Mr. Dean Warren and I had several phone conversations before his passing and shared our respective health problems that may — or may not — have been caused by exposure to ionizing radiation at Crossroads.


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Voices From Ground Zero: Recollections and Feelings of Nuclear Test Veterans

By Lincoln F. Grahlfs

Voices From Ground Zero: Recollections and Feelings of Nuclear Test Veterans

Why this book?

The author of this book was also a Crossroads participant and today is regarded as one of the foremost experts on the effects of ionizing radiation. His book is a collection of interviews with atomic veterans of tests in the Pacific and Nevada. I am grateful to Dr. Grahlfs for agreeing to write the Foreword to my Crossroads memoir.


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Bomb: The Race to Build--And Steal--The World's Most Dangerous Weapon

By Steve Sheinkin

Bomb: The Race to Build--And Steal--The World's Most Dangerous Weapon

Why this book?

Many books have been written about the development of the atomic bomb, most of them more technical than the average reader wants or needs. That is why I’m recommending this book. Don’t let the “Perfect for middle grade readers” in the Amazon book description put you off. The book was factual, yet read like a spy thriller. The only thing I missed was a cast of characters in the front matter, so I created a list as I read.


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The Bluejackets Manual: United States Navy

By Norman Reeve Van Der Veer

The Bluejackets Manual: United States Navy

Why this book?

This manual belonged to me. It may seem like an odd recommendation. However, whenever my memory was fuzzy on some detail, such as the various boatswain’s calls, I consulted my well-worn bluejacket’s manual and found the answer.


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