Forging the Atomic Shield

Excerpts From the Office Diary of Gordon E. Dean

Edited by Roger M. Anders

344 pp., 6 x 9

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5723-6
    Published: May 2011
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3975-8
    Published: December 2017

Buy this Book

Awards & distinctions

1988 Henry Adams Prize, Society for History in the Federal Government

Soon after his appointment as chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in 1950, Gordon E. Dean began an office diary composed primarily of notes from his telephone conversations. The diary contains Dean's accounts of the mobilization of atomic energy for the Korean War, the decision to conduct atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in the U.S., the development and testing of the first thermonuclear device, the decisions to erect vast plants for the production of atomic weapons, the Rosenberg atom spy case, and other critical issues.

Originally published in 1987.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.


"A scrupulously edited contemporary record of Gordon Dean's work as member and then chairman of the AEC, 1950- 53. It sheds new light on such great events as the decision to build the H-bomb, the transfer of weapons to military custody, and the decisions of 1951-52 for vast expansion of weapon-making capacity."--McGeorge Bundy