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Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb
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Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  857 ratings  ·  172 reviews
Trinity, the debut graphic book by the gifted illustrator Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, depicts in vivid detail the dramatic history of the race to build and the decision to drop the first atomic bomb. This sweeping historical narrative traces the spark of invention from the laboratories of nineteenth-century Europe to the massive industrial and scientific efforts of the Manhattan ...more
Hardcover, 154 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Hill and Wang
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,707)
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Ryan Potter
I have two history degrees and have taught social studies for 19 years. I've become a huge fan of non-fiction graphic books and graphic novels the past few years because they draw in reluctant readers in my classroom. But here's the thing about TRINITY: the book is better than a lot of adult works on the subject, and I think it comes down to the riveting pictures and writing style of the author.

TRINITY is impeccably researched and does a splendid job of retelling the story of the Manhattan Proje
...more
Sheila
Prior to this book I had never read a Graphic Novel. I will admit to even being a bit of a book snob, the type who thought Graphic Novels were just glorified comic books, and not real books. I read literature, I read 1000+ page classics. Graphic novels? Pshaw!

But this book has changed my opinion of Graphic Novels. I didn't know they could be this good. I didn't know they could be this emotional. I didn't know they could be this educational.

It could be that I am going through a reading binge on
...more
Sesana
A really good, if quick, history of the development of the atomic bomb. I don't have much in the way of prior knowledge here, and you don't really need it. There are a few names that are casually thrown out without much, if any, explanation, but those moments were few and far between. The graphic format really works well with the scientific explanations for how and why the bomb works.
Jeimy
The book offers a brief, yet surprisingly comprehensive, description on how the first atomic bombs were conceived, manufactured, tested, and employed.It was interesting for me to read what the various scientists were hoping to accomplish and how the people involved felt after witnessing the annihilation of the the two Japanese cities where it was, essentially, field tested.

Since reading Rachel Maddow's Drift, I have been interested in the United States's atomic bomb arsenal. After reading this b
...more
Thomas Andrikus
When I came upon Trinity by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm and Michael Gallagher, I thought I was going to face all those clichés found in so many other books written on the topic of Atomic Bomb, such as the horrendous effects of bombs on the residents of Hiroshima, or how the Nevada testing site was picked in the first place. Apparently, this graphic novel has proven to be much more informative than that.

It shows how the Manhattan project was conceived by key players such as President Harry Truman, Gener
...more
Joella www.cinjoella.com
This book is a graphic novel about the first atomic bomb being made and used during WWII. I thought it was especially interesting to read this book seeing how Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin was so good. And I think that comparing these two books would be perfect for a school class (especially one of those library school courses on Non-Fiction literature for children and teens). Just comparing similar information that is so well done in the t ...more
Rick Silva
Jonathan Fetter-Vorm relates a wide-ranging history of the development of the first nuclear weapons, beginning with the early discoveries of radioactivity and nuclear forces, through the Manhattan project, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the beginnings of the nuclear arms race.



This is an ambitious book, and Fetter-Vorm moves the narrative along at a rapid pace, sprinkling in enough physics and history to get the important concepts across. The focus characters are Robert Oppenheimer,
...more
Joanna
"All this work, whether it's lining up dominoes or enriching uranium, builds toward one single moment: the moment when what was once impossible becomes unavoidable. In that moment the logic of the chain reaction takes over. The fire will only stop when there is nothing left to burn."
-From Trinity, page 51

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is a graphic telling of how the bombs that were released over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were released. The story starts
...more
Cyndi
This is a very educational graphic novel. I now have an understanding of of atomic energy, nuclear fission and the process by which the nuclear arms race was begun.

The simple black and white line drawings provide great background, while not detracting from the overall experience.

It touches on the affects, military, financial, humanity and moral, of the production and use of the Atomic bomb. It gives no small insight into the minds and lives of all involved. Lastly giving food for thought on the
...more
Bryan
This book is terrifying and informative. The simple but profound images and writing somehow make the story of the atomic bomb more disturbing than a more academic text-only book. And nothing could prepare me for the horrifying pages that show Nagasaki's destruction. Highly recommended.
Lindsay
Aug 03, 2014 Lindsay rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lindsay by: Karen
Good enough while the story was being told, but I admit I starting skimming when it got a bit too far into the discussion of chemistry (c'mon, Lindsay, it even had pictures!). I was especially surprised to learn that the firebombings the Americans rained on Japan produced far more casualties than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined and that the first one, over Tokyo, killed more people within six hours "than in any equivalent period of time in the entire history of mankind." Overall, though, I have ...more
Kate
A well-written and illustrated history of one of mankind's darkest times. At about 150 pages, it's a very quick read - though that doesn't make it any less harrowing. The lead-up to the creation of the first atomic bomb seems almost organic, the science pointing in that direction since Marie and Pierre Curie first discovered radioactivity; however, while scientific progress should be couched in optimism and benevolence, the backdrop of WWII gave this research a dark and dangerous air. The develo ...more
Becky B
Fetter-Vorm gives a broad overview of the Manhattan Project, the science related to the working of the bomb, and the main scientists and politicians involved in the development and deployment of the first atomic bombs.

Because of the incredibly broad scope of this book, it only skims the surface on some areas. The science of how the bomb works is probably the best aspect of this book. It does a really good job of breaking down nuclear fission in easy to understand text and drawings. This would be
...more
Eleanor
The graphic novel Trinity is about the creation of the first atomic bomb. It goes into detail about the science behind the bomb and what it took to create it. When the author describes how bright the first test bomb was after it went off, he says: “50 miles away, a blind girl turned her head and asked: ‘What is that?’” The author uses these creative facts to captivate readers. The graphic novel talks about the first bombings using these weapons, and what the immediate and long-term effects were ...more
Miroku Nemeth
The scientific explanations and a good portion of the history behind the creation of the atomic bomb are ingeniously rendered in graphic form. This is what earned it at least 3 stars. However, it sadly takes a turn into the worst kind of repetition of official government propaganda lines when it deals with Truman, Byrnes, and the decision to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fetter-Vorm has military planners, for example, choose Hiroshima because it is a "military target". Nothing could ...more
Koa
I'm giving this book a three only because I can't give it a 2.5. This is because I liked the art but I feel like the book was too neutral on the use and production of nuclear weapons. First the art was great it flowed well and you really got the feeling that you were inside the conversations and at times inside the bombs and atoms watching the protons, neutrons, and ions. He did a great job telling the story but I feel like the author could have been more harsh on the use of these weapons on Jap ...more
Adam
Graphic novel review: Trinity
Trinity is a graphic novel about the development and creation of the first atomic bomb. I recommend Trinity because it is very interesting, and you can learn a lot from it. The black and white art styles used by the author tell the story very well and help convey emotion. It starts when a German physicist realizes that the atom can be split. However, war is on the horizon, and many countries are scrambling to unlock the secrets of nuclear fission. Then the book follo
...more
Holly
Jan 18, 2014 Holly added it
Shelves: 2013-reads
Wonderful! Black-&-white drawings. An overview of the Manhattan Project (reminding readers of the roles of Oak Ridge, Univ of Chicago, UC-Berkeley, and Hanford), the science, the bomb drops on Japan, and the Cold War bomb testing. Only quibble is that the otherwise solid reading list at the back of the book doesn't cite Jennet Conant's excellent Los Alamos history, 109 East Palace.
Matthew Hundley
I recently watched the HBO documentary "White Light/Black Rain" which opens with interviews of youth in Hiroshima. The interviewer asks, "What historical significance does August 6, 1945 have?" Most of those asked cannot recall that this was the day the US dropped a bomb on Hiroshima. If the Japanese can forget this event, might we some day forget September 11, 2001? How quickly even this generation has forgotten the cold war? And certainly we no longer hear those refrains of "run, duck and cove ...more
Gayle Francis Moffet
An interesting look at the history of the atomic bomb that would have been better served, I think, by either go full science or focusing only on the people involved. The science is interesting, and the explanations are easy to follow, but I as much more interested in seeing more about the people on the project and how they lived and functioned than I was on the actual how-to of the bomb making. Oppenheimer alone could carry a full graphic novel, as could any of the 80,000 people who worked on th ...more
Patrice Sartor
For me, the beauty of a well-done graphic novel is that nearly any subject can be an engrossing reading experience. I don't have interest in the building of the first atomic bomb or that particular aspect of World War II. That doesn't matter, for Trinity is compelling in its narrative and detailed black-and-white illustrations.

I especially liked using dominoes as an analogy for the complexities involved in atoms and fission. I'm pretty sure this is more science that I've read in a couple of deca
...more
Mrs W
Oct 13, 2014 Mrs W rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
This is a graphic novel history depicting the story of the atomic bomb. Beginning with the realization that such a weapon was possible, the story takes the reader through the foundation of the Manhattan Project and the two bombings over Japan which ultimately ended WWII. Much of the science is explained in detail, often using dominoes as a concrete example of the concepts. Ethical questions about war and science are raised.

The artwork feels like it came out of that time period, which added to th
...more
Jennifer W
A good condensed version of what happened as the US began development on the atomic bomb. I really liked it because it easily and accessibly (I think) describes the science behind atoms and an atomic bomb. I think if you have little understanding of the Manhattan Project, this would be a great book to start with.
Blake
The art is great and the story is well-told, but about 20 pages from the end, Fetter-Vorm turns the story into a polemic. I don't have a problem with what he had to say, but it didn't fit with the tone he established throughout the rest of the book. 90% fantastic.
Eric Piotrowski
A fairly straightforward history lesson on the first atomic bomb, Fetter-Vorm's text provides engaging personalities (mostly Oppenheimer, but with some interesting other tangents too) and complements the scientific breakdown with helpful visual imagery. (The dominoes are especially effective, since they presage the sequence of events that develop out of the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs.)

The art is precise but not sterile. The writing is simple but not simplistic. There's a little humor, but the
...more
Richard
What is interesting about this graphic history is how much accurate and interesting information is so interestingly and accessibly presented. Fetter-Varm presents the characters and mentions the problems of conscience some of the participants had In addition he adds other works to enable a student to undertake his/her own personal further exploration at the end of the book as well as a list of the sources and inspirations which were important in helping him to complete the project.

"Trinity" pro
...more
Josh
I know the story of the Manhattan Project. I grew up in the waning days of the Cold War in Southern California, surrounded by Nike bases and rocket testing facilities. But never have I seen the story of the creation of the Atomic bomb told with such a well balanced presentation of the science and social history behind the entire thing. I was impressed with the austere beauty of many of the pages. Science came alive on the pages. Oppenheimer's moral dilemma was displayed by remained as a supporti ...more
Tim
Really good condensed history of Trinity, combining the drama of history and that of the individuals involved. Fetter-Vorm's drawing style isn't quite to my taste... his expressionistic tone is great for mood and montage, but I found it slightly hard to recognize individual characters (Oppenheimer, Groves, etc.) from panel to panel. It's definitely a history lesson, not aiming to be a personal story like Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima. Nevertheless, it's ...more
Edward Sullivan
A good overview of the Manhattan Project but the book I wrote about it is much better, more detailed and interesting.
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