It took me almost 2 years to read this, but that was by design. I would read about 10 pages a week and just study and try to absorb all I could from it. What a fantastic book....this major work of history takes the reader from the very beginnings of the journey of the theoretical insight of the people who first conceived of splitting the atom all the way through design, experiments, more design, tests, fabrication, more tests, Trinity (which is by far the most readable and intense part of the book), and ultimately the decision and action of dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It even covers the political fall out and lead in to the Cold War with Russia through the ultimate path to the hydrogen bomb as well. This book leaves out nothing....it covers the horror that the Japanese experienced on August 6th and 9th, 1945....it delves into the feelings these brilliant men and women experienced before, during, and after those fateful events....it explains where the brainchildren of this concept came from and the political troubles they faced in Europe on their way to Los Alamos, Washington (state), and Oak Ridge. The most hair-raising part, as I mentioned, was Trinity, the first atomic explosion test in New Mexico. Rhodes brilliantly portrays the people and events as it led up to that test and his descriptions of that test are just mind blowing. History buffs....if you also like long books, this is a must read.