Job Search Scrap Trading Books News Scholarship Website
Countdown 1945 - Chris Wallace

Countdown 1945

By Chris Wallace

  • Release Date: 2020-06-09
  • Genre: U.S. History
Score: 4.5
From 759 Ratings


The #1 national bestselling “riveting” (The New York Times), “propulsive” (Time) behind-the-scenes account “that reads like a tense thriller” (The Washington Post) of the 116 days leading up to the American attack on Hiroshima, by Chris Wallace, veteran journalist and CNN anchor and Max host.

April 12, 1945: After years of bloody conflict in Europe and the Pacific, America is stunned by news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. In an instant, Vice President Harry Truman, who has been kept out of war planning and knows nothing of the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first atomic bomb, must assume command of a nation at war on multiple continents—and confront one of the most consequential decisions in history. Countdown 1945 tells the gripping true story of the turbulent days, weeks, and months to follow, leading up to August 6, 1945, when Truman gives the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.

In Countdown 1945, Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and CNN anchor and Max host, takes readers inside the minds of the iconic and elusive figures who join the quest for the bomb, each for different reasons: the legendary Albert Einstein, who eventually calls his vocal support for the atomic bomb “the one great mistake in my life”; lead researcher J. Robert “Oppie” Oppenheimer and the Soviet spies who secretly infiltrate his team; the fiercely competitive pilots of the plane selected to drop the bomb; and many more.

Perhaps most of all, Countdown 1945 is the story of an untested new president confronting a decision that he knows will change the world forever. But more than a book about the atomic bomb, Countdown 1945 is also an unforgettable account of the lives of ordinary American and Japanese civilians in wartime—from “Calutron Girls” like Ruth Sisson in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to ten-year-old Hiroshima resident Hideko Tamura, who survives the blast at ground zero but loses her mother and later immigrates to the United States, where she lives to this day—as well as American soldiers fighting in the Pacific, waiting in fear for the order to launch a possible invasion of Japan. Told with vigor, intelligence, and humanity, Countdown 1945 is the definitive account of one of the most significant moments in history.


  • Great snapshot of a complex moment in history.

    A very easy and quick read. Well written; keeps you engaged.
  • Solid Read

    By Bamancal
    A good book and enjoyed the fact that he had stories of regular people and how this impacted them.
  • Miscategorized

    By Bigdunn22
    Anything written by this author has to be classified as fiction. Chris’s dad at least had some journalistic integrity and talent. Chris has neither.
  • Countdown 1945

    By Mehal21
    This book will make the reader read more about WW2 and the nuclear program and the Manhattan Project
  • An excellent view from the inside....

    By Lwsda
    Wonderfully framed and delivered

    By Clancypro
    Chris Wallace knocks it out of the park! Fast, concise - reads like a timetable thriller - which it is.
  • An easy read

    By lpeax
    Countdown 1945 is an easy read but if you are looking for a more in depth treatment of the subject I would look elsewhere.
  • Good

    By wer749
    Very Good
  • One Fine Book!

    By Jkmadm
    Well written account of the world changing events of the second world war’s dramatic end. A fast read because I wanted to read on. Thank you for the work of putting this together to the authors, historians, and survivors.
  • Great Historical Read!

    By Lol man 2536525
    Countdown 1945 will have you glued to the pages. As the legendary journalist Chris Wallace guides the reader through the exemplary American leadership and tough decisions leading up to the Atomic bomb.