The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb

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The atomic bomb. It was the ultimate weapon, a dream forged by scientists and military minds and unleashed like a nightmare upon the world. But who would build it? Who would wield it first? The race to split the atom and conquer the world waged in the background of World War II. It led to secret missions, unlikely spies, and scientists choosing sides, for country, for pride, and for the chance to do the impossible.

The Bastard Brigade chronicles the parallel stories of America pursuing the bomb and American agents trying to prevent Germany from building the bomb first. It’s an insane story, one that hinges on luck, skill, misunderstandings, and opportunity. It ricochets between military operations—like the ones launched against a German heavy water plant—and recruitment efforts on both sides to snatch up any and all scientists who could potentially produce the fissionable materiel needed for the bomb.

The cast of characters is as colorful is it is eclectic, bringing to life iconic scientists, lesser-known spies and agents, and the peculiar mechanisms of bureaucracy that sparked both victories and defeats.

Kean does an impressive job keeping a lot of plates spinning as he weaves a narrative that spans years. Not once is there even a wobble. Science and history come alive in The Bastard Brigade, sharing a tale that’s equal parts amazing, terrifying, and utterly bonkers.


Reviewed By:

Author Sam Kean
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 464 pages
Publisher Little, Brown
Publish Date 2019-07-09
ISBN 9780316381680
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2020
Category History
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