Kean, S: The Bastard Brigade
The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb
Scientists have always kept secrets. But rarely in history have scientific secrets been as vital as they were during World War II. In the midst of planning the Manhattan Project, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services created a secret offshoot - the Alsos Mission - meant to gather intelligence on and sabotage if necessary, scientific research by the Axis powers. What resulted was a plot worthy of the finest thriller, full of spies, sabotage, and murder. At its heart was the 'Lightning A' team, a group of intrepid soldiers, scientists, and spies - and even a famed baseball player - who were given almost free rein to get themselves embedded within the German scientific community to stop the most terrifying threat of the war: Hitler acquiring an atomic bomb of his very own.
While the Manhattan Project and other feats of scientific genius continue to inspire us today, few people know about the international intrigue and double-dealing that accompanied those breakthroughs. Bastard Brigaderecounts this forgotten history, fusing a non-fiction spy thriller with some of the most incredible scientific ventures of all time.
Sam Kean is the
New York Times bestselling author of
Caesar's Last Breath,
The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons,
The Disappearing Spoon, and
The Violinist's Thumb, all of which were also named Amazon top science books of the year. The
Disappearing Spoon was a runner-up for the Royal Society of London's book of the year for 2010, and
The Violinist's Thumb and
The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons were nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award in 2013 and 2015, as well as the AAAS/Subaru SB&F prize. His work has appeared in
The Best American Nature and Science Writing,
The New Yorker,
The Atlantic, the
New York Times Magazine,
Mental Floss, and other publications, and he has been featured on NPR's 'Radiolab,' 'All Things Considered,' and 'Fresh Air.'