[ Read Book ] ☸ The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb ♺ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free

I received a review copy from the publisher, which has in no way affected my review, and, in fact, I had already preordered the book before they contacted me, because Sam Kean is like a non fiction Scheherazade, and, frankly, it s annoying how easy he makes it look to expound upon complex scientific concepts whilst simultaneously regaling us with a crackerjack tale of historical whizzbangery I m looking into having him kneecapped, rest assured, but in the gentlest manner in which one can crack I received a review copy from the publisher, which has in no way affected my review, and, in fact, I had already preordered the book before they contacted me, because Sam Kean is like a non fiction Scheherazade, and, frankly, it s annoying how easy he makes it look to expound upon complex scientific concepts whilst simultaneously regaling us with a crackerjack tale of historical whizzbangery I m looking into having him kneecapped, rest assured, but in the gentlest manner in which one can crack a patella, because he seems like a nice guy and I m not a savage.In a departure from his prior books, which stitch together discrete and frequently disparate scientific and often historical tales around a unifying theme see, for example, Caesar s Last Breath, which is excellent and, to date, my favorite book of his , Kean tackles long form historical narrative here, disseminating scientific smart bombs throughout for maximum brain detonating effect as he chronicles an eclectic cast of characters intent on a mission with, quite literally, global life or death consequences trying to stop the Nazis from developing nuclear bombs.Look, Nazis are the ideal bad guys in ANY narrative, because, notwithstanding similarly philosophically situated bigots and ocher hued United States presidents, EVERYONE hates Nazis, so it s always a delight to see an intrepid and, in this case, eccentric group of people try to take them down it s equally fascinating to watch some of the era s leading scientists, many of them German, wrestle with morality, loyalty to country, and the difficulty of trying to do the right thing when a gun is held to your head metaphorically at the very least, if not downright literally on occasion It takes skill to create tension in a narrative when you know the outcome from the outset, it having been decidedthan seven decades ago SPOILER ALERT the Nazis did not manage to develop nukes or win World War II and, while we re at it, TV gets colorized, we manage to put astronauts on the moon, Milli Vanilli inexplicably becomes a thing, and people get so annoyingly entitled in 2019 that they seem miffed that a network ignores their petition to redo the final season of a popular show just because it didn t conform to the storylines they wrote in their fan fiction during the show s two year hiatus prior to its conclusion whew glad we got all of that out of the way, and I hope no one was so shocked by any of those heretofore unrevealed revelations that they just plotzed Fortunately, Kean has skill in spades though not necessarily AT spades I ve never seen him evince any particular aptitude for card games, though he could be a covert ringer Even knowing how it all turns out, you can t help but sweat a little as the Nazis get a dramatic head start on building nuclear weapons, both by virtue of some of the world s top physicists being within the Nazi sphere of influence and by a ruthlessly relentless effort to seize the necessary resources including heavy water from the Vemork processing plant in Norway, where Allied forces undertook a daring but ill fated commando raid in an effort to sabotage the supply of this critical ingredient Part of this is because of Kean s skill in fleshing out the characters in the narrative, including former big league baseball player turned spy Moe Berg and former high school teacher turned relentless and obsessed intelligence agent Boris Pash part of it is because the subject matter is just inherently interesting What I, whose approach to physics is akin to my approach to karaoke in other words, my enthusiasm far surpasses my aptitude , particularly appreciate about Kean is his facility for rendering complex concepts understandable He periodically uses graphs and illustrations to further, um, illustrate his points, but really it s the clarity and concision of his language that leads to such pellucid explications Even in a book where the historical narrative is the primary driving force, Kean doesn t lose sight of the fact that insight into the science behind the race to develop weapons of depressingly devastating deadliness is, in and of itself, fascinating not unlike me belting out a Bon Jovi deep cut well after midnight, though that s fascinating for an entirely different reason The focus of this particular narrative renders Kean unable to deploy his dad joke level humor with as much frequency as previous works, which is disappointing, and he doesn t go as deep into the science as usual so as to not steal momentum from the core narrative Note from my perspective, calling someone s humor dad joke level is perhaps the most complimentary thing I can say about it so, contrary to being an insult, that was actually lavish praise Still, for a first foray into full fledged historical narrative, this is a heck of an entertaining read and suggests that Kean is a versatile writer who will take us on a wide range of scientifically adjacent adventures in the years to come I m looking forward to every one of them, and still hoping he considers my proposal to team up on that sitcom For adetailed and highly gripping account of the raid on Vemork, see The Winter Fortress The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler s Atomic Bomb For an exemplary use of heavy water as a plot device in popular culture, see this episode of G.I Joe Sam Kean has shed light on a WWII subject that until now has remained in the shadows The Bastard Brigade is the true story of the renegade scientists and spies who sabotaged the nazi development of the atomic bomb Who knew that such a raucous and deadly fight to the finish line took place The leaders of the Manhattan Project were alarmed to learn that Nazi Germany was far outpacing the Allies in nuclear weapons research and development As D Day loomed, they assembled a rough and motle Sam Kean has shed light on a WWII subject that until now has remained in the shadows The Bastard Brigade is the true story of the renegade scientists and spies who sabotaged the nazi development of the atomic bomb Who knew that such a raucous and deadly fight to the finish line took place The leaders of the Manhattan Project were alarmed to learn that Nazi Germany was far outpacing the Allies in nuclear weapons research and development As D Day loomed, they assembled a rough and motley crew of geniuses dubbed the Alsos Mission and sent them careening into Axis territory to spy on, sabotage, and even assassinate members of Nazi Germany s feared Uranium Club The goal of Alsos, in addition to abducting the scientists, was to appropriate scientific data, heavy water and uranium ore Tough assignment, given that the Nazi scientists would rather burn, bury, or sink those atomic gains rather than let them slip into the hands of the Alies.The Alsos mission was populated by colorful characters Samuel Goudsmit was chief scientific advisor Moe Berg was an ex major league baseball catcher and intellectual There was a Dutch physicist who, as he worked, his parents were dragged off to a concentration camp There was the power couple Fr d ric and Ir ne Joliot Curie, physicist and chemist respectively, who were key fighters in the resistance The Nazi equivalent on the Axis side, known as the the Uranium Club, included Otto Hahn, a German chemist and scientific partner of Lise Meitner Also working on the Nazi atomic program was Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg one of the most brilliant physicists in history.Joe Kennedy Jr appears in several chapters, sadly resentful of the fame showered upon his younger brother following the PT109 disaster Desperate for glory, he volunteered for some ridiculously dangerous missions, including a doomed effort to wipe out a supposed atomic missile bunker on the southern coast of France We all know that egregious ending It may have been Kean who dubbed the colorful group The Bastard Brigade, but I thought it a perfect nom de guerre They used any and every shrewd method to capture secret files, charts and formulas from German scientists, who used every possible means often hysterically comical to hide the priceless data What they could not hide was burned.In one nail biting chapter, Alsos Baseball player, intellectual, cum spy Moe Berg was assigned to travel to Zurich, where Heisenberg was lecturing The professor was to be either abducted or assassinated Moe Berg carried a pistol in one pocket and a cyanide capsule in the other I m not saying Read the book At the time, Heavy Water was believed to be a necessary component of the process of production of the atomic bomb The Allies learned that the Nazis had commandeered a factory in Vermok, Norway which produced heavy water as a byproduct in the manufacture of fertilizer The Alsos group set out to cripple the plant Many lives were lost after trying ballooning in and or rappelling down the steep wall The factory was finally bombed by the allies Then there was the radium How did Marie Curie leave the country with 2 grams of Radium Ironically Sam Keane s next book was The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements The Allies eventually located and destroyed the nuclear reactor which the Germans were using in their attempt to create an atomic bomb The Bastard Brigade is gripping non fiction for anyone who is interested in a unique, harrowing and brave tale of WWII Sam Kean is already one of my favorite authors, and his latest offering is yet another fantastic blend of science and human interest The Bastard Brigade unfolds the Allied effort to prevent Nazi Germany from building an atomic bomb We ve all considered the horrifying counterfactual of Hitler obtaining an atomic weapon, and perhaps heard stories about the Germans confiscating heavy water or employing scientists like Werner Heisenberg, but in Bastard Brigade we learn just how close they did a Sam Kean is already one of my favorite authors, and his latest offering is yet another fantastic blend of science and human interest The Bastard Brigade unfolds the Allied effort to prevent Nazi Germany from building an atomic bomb We ve all considered the horrifying counterfactual of Hitler obtaining an atomic weapon, and perhaps heard stories about the Germans confiscating heavy water or employing scientists like Werner Heisenberg, but in Bastard Brigade we learn just how close they did and didn t come to succeeding, what happened to their three year head start, and the happy accidents and subterfuge that stymied their efforts along the way.It s a multifaceted story with a fascinating cast of characters, from famed baseball catcher Moe Berg who moonlighted as an agent for the OSS, predecessor to the CIA and JFK s older brother Joe Jr who was considered to be the real political heavyweight in the family, but died in a massive explosion aimed at well, I don t want to give that one away to legendary physics duo Ir ne and Frederic Joliot Curie Marie Curie s daughter and son in law and the aforementioned Heisenberg Many other notables play cameo roles, such as Enrico Fermi, Niels Bohr, Robert Oppenheimer, Wernher von Braun of course , and Lise Meitner There are many other lesser known characters, such as the three war veteran Borish Pash and the peaked too early physicist Samuel Goudsmit, who greatly affected the course of history.Kean has degree in physics, which comes in handy as he explains the various discoveries and breakthroughs that paved the way for the atomic age There are helpful illustrations to reify abstract concepts such as artificial radioactivity or uranium 238 transmuting into neptunium 239 and then plutonium 239 Kean has also assembled photos of the various players and locations, and provides as he often does online supplements with additional images and notes You can tell he thrills at the research, and does an excellent job at isolating all the best character building anecdotes and the most memorable and momentous historical asides The storytelling is tight, the writing is playful and sharp, the chapters are small, and we jump from location to tracking a handful of separate but connected threads at a pace that brings history and science to life Highly recommended, and not just for your dad who loves WWII books Breezy, entertaining account of Allies spies who investigated the Nazi s progress in building the atomic bomb The Nazis program had advancedthan I realized Interesting backstory given on Joe Kennedy, Jr., Moe Berg, and other colorful characters Some easy to understand sections describe splitting the atom and other nuclear stuff. [ Read Book ] ♔ The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb ♶ The gripping, untold story of a renegade group of scientists and spies determined to keep Adolf Hitler from obtaining the ultimate prize a nuclear bomb In the middle of building an atomic bomb, the leaders of the Manhattan Project were alarmed to learn that Nazi Germany was far outpacing the Allies in nuclear weapons research Hitler, with just a few pounds of uranium, would have the capability to reverse the entire D Day operation and conquer Europe So they assembled a rough and motley crew of geniuses dubbed the Alsos Mission and sent them careening into Axis territory to spy on, sabotage, and even assassinate members of Nazi Germany s feared Uranium Club Summary & Study Guide - Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy - Including Diet Cheat Sheet untold story of a renegade group of scientists and spies determined to keep Adolf Hitler from obtaining the ultimate prize a nuclear bomb In the middle of building an atomic bomb I will never quit Cardboard Crack the leaders of the Manhattan Project were alarmed to learn that Nazi Germany was far outpacing the Allies in nuclear weapons research Hitler Seed, Grow, Love, Write: One man's unexpected and slow journey to fulfillment with just a few pounds of uranium The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance - Kindle edition by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey Wood, Jeffrey Brantley. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. would have the capability to reverse the entire D Day operation and conquer Europe So they assembled a rough and motley crew of geniuses dubbed the Alsos Mission and sent them careening into Axis territory to spy on How to hold your Breath for over Five minutes - With only two days practice (English Edition) sabotage RCadvisor's Model Airplane Design Made Easy: The Simple Guide to Designing R/C Model Aircraft or Build Your Own Radio Control Flying Model Plane and even assassinate members of Nazi Germany s feared Uranium Club Magnificent book on the crossroads of science and historyThere are the occasional science history books, that when I reach the end, I go, Oh no, I wantThe Bastard Brigade is one of those books I loved it Sam Kean is a wonderful science writer and this book is exactly what I expect in great science writing lots of biographical and historical content, well explained science, and a good sense of humor Considering the subject matter, the fact that Kean can use humor attests to his skill Magnificent book on the crossroads of science and historyThere are the occasional science history books, that when I reach the end, I go, Oh no, I wantThe Bastard Brigade is one of those books I loved it Sam Kean is a wonderful science writer and this book is exactly what I expect in great science writing lots of biographical and historical content, well explained science, and a good sense of humor Considering the subject matter, the fact that Kean can use humor attests to his skills as a writer Kudos also to Kevin Cannon for his excellent illustrations The on line notes and photographs are another bonus and are worth a look This book is a must read for everyone interested in history, regardless of their science background.Disclosure I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley for review purposes In the intro we learn that Sean King is first a physicst and second a fan of literature He explains that he hadn t written a book involving physics because he wanted one where he could tell a story.This introduction pretty much summarizes my core on the book The author talks about his first two loves, and neither of those are history.The Bastard Brigade is a fun story and well tgold That being said, I can t say it is solid history It is a fun pulp history. The Bastard Brigade The True Story of the Plot to Stop the Nazi Atomic Bomb was a surprise in a number of ways In spite of my interest in WWII, I wasn t sure if this one would be a winner for me There is some physics involved, which made me a bit leery, but Sam Kean keeps it simple even for the layman, and the oddball and totally real characters involved are fascinating examples of all the strengths and flaws human beings can exhibit from description From New York Times bestselling author The Bastard Brigade The True Story of the Plot to Stop the Nazi Atomic Bomb was a surprise in a number of ways In spite of my interest in WWII, I wasn t sure if this one would be a winner for me There is some physics involved, which made me a bit leery, but Sam Kean keeps it simple even for the layman, and the oddball and totally real characters involved are fascinating examples of all the strengths and flaws human beings can exhibit from description From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes the gripping, untold story of a renegade group of scientists and spies determined to keep Adolf Hitler from obtaining the ultimate prize a nuclear bomb.Some of the information was already familiar to me because I ve read a lot of WWII nonfiction, but not in the same detail I knew about the attempts to sabotage the Venmorck Heavy Water facility in Norway to prevent the Germans from gaining access to heavy water for nuclear experiments, but not how many on died on the original British attempt or any details about Operation Grouse and the unbelievable hardships of the Norwegian team I knew about Marie Curie, but not that she was asked not to attend the ceremony for her second Nobel Prize for moral reasons because after the death of her husband, she was having an affair with a married scientist She attended anyway And I had no idea about her daughter Irene Joliot Curie and her husband Frederick Joliot Curie s experiments, their connection to heavy water, and Frederick s work with the Resistance I knew about Moe Berg, the baseball catcher turned spy, but not about the details of his career and that during baseball s off seasons, he attended the Sorbonne and graduated from Princeton and Columbia Law School Casey Stengel called him the strangest man ever to play baseball I knew almost nothing about the scientists involved other than the most famous names, but all of these men and women came alive as real people, not just historical footnotes Although I had some quibbles about the author insertions in parentheticals or italics, the book was easy to read, fascinating, and informative Many missions failed or missed, and the book doesn t present any of these individuals as comic book heroes or paragons, many of them had no background in clandestine activities and were eccentric in one way or another, but each one played a vital role in helping prevent Germany achieving nuclear power Read in May Blog review scheduled for June 23.NetGalley Little, Brown, CoNonfiction WWII July 9, 2019 Print length 464 pages By Kean s own admission B Brigade is a departure from his usual style, being afocused A to B story Although is some respects the story is much like the Brigade, an intriguing whole pieced together from bits and pieces all over It s hard to explain, the story isn t a straightforward tale of a crack team thrown together for a challenging task, butof a compilation of the various missions and people associated with the Nazi Nuclear Bomb project That s not to say the book was dire By Kean s own admission B Brigade is a departure from his usual style, being afocused A to B story Although is some respects the story is much like the Brigade, an intriguing whole pieced together from bits and pieces all over It s hard to explain, the story isn t a straightforward tale of a crack team thrown together for a challenging task, butof a compilation of the various missions and people associated with the Nazi Nuclear Bomb project That s not to say the book was directionless, in fact it was an amazing journey across all corners of the globe with all manner of characters, from Joe Kennedy, to Heisenberg, and many others involved with atomic research What I particularly liked about the book is that Kean managed to contain what could have been a huge tome, dealing with WWII, with insight, sensitivity, value and at appropriate times humour I m not much of a history buff, but I found B Brigade followable and inspiring to keep learningAnother highlight was Kean s discussion of the unusual relationship of German soldiers to the regime and the rest of the world There is a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty on this topic, whether the so called Uranium Club purposefully put road blocks in the way of the project because they were against the Nazi Regime, or did they just fail at their task and want to put a positive spin after Germany was defeated I must confess a bias, I did receive a free review copy of B Brigade, as I did Kean s last book and I just think the author and his books are brilliant as a baseline so you re unlikely to hear much criticism from me on anything by Kean As with Mr Kean s other books, being a tech nerd is helpful in appreciating many of the nuances The technical aspects are woven into the history, enabling us to better appreciate the efforts and status of progress of the various figures The hi story is a complex web, but extremely well woven Mr Kean gives us enough information to understand and appreciate what is happening, but not so much as to overwhelm us with minutiae I also liked his development background of the various figures As with Mr Kean s other books, being a tech nerd is helpful in appreciating many of the nuances The technical aspects are woven into the history, enabling us to better appreciate the efforts and status of progress of the various figures The hi story is a complex web, but extremely well woven Mr Kean gives us enough information to understand and appreciate what is happening, but not so much as to overwhelm us with minutiae I also liked his development background of the various figures involved From ballplayers to generals, we get a good sense of the different personalities This is important to the various interactions and conflicts between them For the amount of material covered, this is a relatively quick read Although it does seem to go slow at times, these are normally necessary to help us appreciate future or parallel issues He has done an excellent job of weaving an incredibly complex story into a concise, comprehensible story I listened to the audio version of this book It is extremely well narrated