Atom Spy. Robert Chadwell Williams.
Harvard University Press, Cambridge,
MA. 1987. 267 pp. $25.
The Man Who Stole the Atom Bomb.
Norman Moss. St. Martin’s Press, New
York, 1987. 216 pp. $16.95.
Any thorough account of the role of physicists in World War II requires evaluation of the activities of Klaus Fuchs, the notorious German refugee physicist who, through the 1940s, leaked top atomic secrets to the Soviet Union while actively contributing to American and British atomic bomb projects. Fuchs’ recent death in January makes the appearance of these new contributions to the literature on World War II particularly timely.
Although roughly the same length and based on the same body of source material, these excellent books barely overlap in content. Norman Moss’ gripping biography brings to life not only Fuchs but also many of his friends and colleagues (a good number of whom Moss obviously took the...