Soon after atomic bombs exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, MGM set out to make a movie studio chief Louis B. Mayer called "the most important story" he would ever film: a big budget dramatization of the Manhattan Project and the invention and use of the revolutionary new weapon.
Over at Paramount, Hal B. Wallis was ramping up his own film version. His screenwriter: the novelist Ayn Rand, who saw in physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer the model for a character she was sketching for Atlas Shrugged.
Greg Mitchell's The Beginning or the End chronicles the first efforts of American media and culture to process the Atomic Age. A movie that began as a cautionary tale inspired by atomic scientists aiming to warn the world against a nuclear arms race would be drained of all impact due to revisions and retakes ordered by President Truman and the military.
Mitchell has found his way into the lofty rooms, from Washington to California, where it happened, unearthing hundreds of letters and dozens of scripts that show how wise intentions were compromised in favor of defending the use of the bomb and the imperatives of postwar politics. As in his acclaimed Cold War true-life thriller The Tunnels, he exposes how our implacable American myth-making mechanisms distort our history.
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"[Mitchell] uses his sharp investigative reporting skills to unearth this detailed, behind-the-scenes story about Hollywood’s first movie on the atomic bomb…Excellent research and rich dialogue give Mitchell’s book a novelistic flair.”
About Greg Mitchell
Greg Mitchell is the award-winning author of numerous nonfiction books, including Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; The Campaign of the Century with Robert Jay Lifton, winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; The Beginning or the End; and Hiroshima in America, among others.
About Rick Adamson
Adamson is an award-winning voice artist with more than twenty years’
experience in voiceovers, spoken word events, event announcing, and children’s
media, as well as commercials for well-known international corporations. He has
narrated numerous television and film documentaries, including Croatia, co-narrated with Martin Sheen.
His audiobook narration includes more than two dozen major books, as well as
dozens of early-reader titles for juveniles. He won the prestigious Audie Award
in 2011 for Best Inspirational/Faith-Based Fiction for In a Heartbeat, and he was among the finalists for the 2006 Audie
Award for Best Personal Development/Motivational Work for Younger Next Year. He earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for the
ensemble narration of Rough Water.