Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly” as Want to Read:
Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
On August 29, 1949, the first Soviet test bomb, dubbed First Lightning, exploded in the deserts of Kazakhstan. The startling event was not simply a technical experiment that confirmed the ability of the Soviet Union to build nuclear bombs during a period when the United States held a steadfast monopoly; it was also an international event that marked the beginning of an arm ...more
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published September 29th 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Red Cloud at Dawn, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Red Cloud at Dawn

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 86)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 21, 2015 Sully rated it liked it
Shelves: nuclear
This book is well-written and the author has clearly done his research. It is an interesting read, but I was disappointed because I thought it would have more detailed information about the Soviet project and the espionage involved in it. These topics are covered, but not in the depth I expected.

The focus of the book is more on the political aspects of the dawn of the Atomic Age, including a lot of information about domestic American politics such as the early organizationial and budgetary matt
Leah G
Apr 07, 2013 Leah G rated it liked it
Great descriptions of important events of the early nuclear age. Covers Potsdam, the years of American nuclear monopoly and the decisions made on that basis; espionage and its impact (my favorite topic of course), and the results of

This is the only book I have found that explains project Vermont- how did the Americans detect the Soviet's test of their first atomic bomb? (first lightning/Joe-1) It was not inevitable at all and took considerable politicking to get the budget and program and scien
Red cloud at Dawn is a history of the early nuclear weapons era, from about 1945 to 1949, when the Soviet Union ended the American monopoly of the possession of nuclear weapons. The author, Michael D. Gordon, a historian at Princeton University, focuses on home the interactions between the United States and the Soviet Union, particularly their knowledge about each others nuclear programs and their perceptions of each other, influenced their respective actions. Gordon focuses on intelligence, pol ...more
Ian Divertie
Mar 17, 2015 Ian Divertie rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!
Synthetic Vox
A lovely read! Classically historian in nature, it seems like Gordin has read (and incorporated) every possible scrap of paper related to the topic. He has made the four years of atomic monopoly interesting, and that is no mean feat. Further, his method highlights that the characteristics of the ways all the key players handled the monopoly carried over to the Cold War years.
Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Technological and diplomatic history, some based on documents declassified in 1995, about who knew what and when and from where--from tentatively breaking the news to Stalin at Potsdam to the Russians testing their own bomb on the Kazakh August steppes in 1949.
Mario M.
Mario M. marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
Colin marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2016
Matthew marked it as to-read
Dec 21, 2015
Amar Baines
Amar Baines marked it as to-read
Dec 03, 2015
Scar marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2015
Eli Weinstein
Eli Weinstein marked it as to-read
May 02, 2015
Bill Ulland
Bill Ulland rated it really liked it
Apr 26, 2015
Eric Cormack
Eric Cormack marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2015
Matt Jarvis
Matt Jarvis rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2015
Pat marked it as to-read
Feb 17, 2015
Jarryd marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2015
Nancy Yob
Nancy Yob marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2015
Gijs-Jan rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2015
Frey marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2014
Jessica Zu
Jessica Zu marked it as to-read
Dec 09, 2014
M F rated it really liked it
Nov 02, 2014
Aishe marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
Aishe marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
Kierkegaard's Pancakes
Kierkegaard's Pancakes rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2014
Kristy marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2014
Rodney Ulyate
Rodney Ulyate marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2014
Wilco marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
Brenna rated it it was ok
Jun 11, 2014
Rene Tyree
Rene Tyree marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Michael Gordin is Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Princeton University, where he specializes in the history of modern science. In 2013-4 he served as the inaugural director of the Fung Global Fellows Program. He came to Princeton in 2003 after earning his A.B. (1996) and his Ph.D. (2001) from Harvard University, and serving a term at the Harvard Society of Fellows. In 2 ...more
More about Michael Gordin...

Share This Book