adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP

Try our newest plan – access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Plus plan is $7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $29.95

Buy for $29.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Two ambitious men. One historic mission. With a blinding flash in the New Mexico desert in the summer of 1945, the world was changed forever. The bomb that ushered in the atomic age was the product of one of history's most improbable partnerships. The General and the Genius reveals how two extraordinary men pulled off the greatest scientific feat of the 20th century. Leslie Richard Groves of the Army Corps of Engineers, who had made his name by building the Pentagon in record time and under budget, was made overlord of the impossibly vast scientific enterprise known as the Manhattan Project. His mission: to beat the Nazis to the atomic bomb. So he turned to the nation's preeminent theoretical physicist, J. Robert Oppenheimer - the chain-smoking, martini-quaffing son of wealthy Jewish immigrants, whose background was riddled with communist associations - Groves' opposite in nearly every respect. In their three-year collaboration, the iron-willed general and the visionary scientist led a brilliant team in a secret mountaintop lab and built the fearsome weapons that ended the war but introduced the human race to unimaginable new terrors. And at the heart of this most momentous work of World War II is the story of two extraordinary men - the general and the genius.

©2015 James Kunetka (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

More from the same

What listeners say about The General and the Genius

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    333
  • 4 Stars
    100
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    323
  • 4 Stars
    70
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    306
  • 4 Stars
    81
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not exactly about the General and the Genius

Any additional comments?

As a Title The General and Genius suggests that this book will explore the relationship between the general in charge of the Manhattan Project and the scientist who led the technical team in developing the atom bomb. There was a relationship between the two men but not one of mutual collaboration or friendship beyond the fact that General Groves was in charge and Robert Oppenheimer led the scientific team at Los Alamos. This was not a story about an unlikely partnership. The story is more about the work that went on at Los Alamos from that perspective and with other projects, teams, and General Groves on the periphery. You learn something about Leslie Groves - that he was strictly military and felt that the team at Los Alamos should be under military rule. He felt that without him the scientists would play at experiments, chew the fat around the water cooler, have two hour lunches, and go home at 3. You don't learn all that much about Oppenheimer; he grew up on Riverside Drive, was very skinny, he smoked a lot, he was a scientist, was generally well liked and respected, and got thrown under the bus after the war while Groves more or less watched. That aside you do learn a lot about what it was like to work at Los Alamos for the 2 to 3 years before the bomb was finished, and you do get a good grounding on some of the technical details, obstacles, and challenges. Only at the very end is the question of the use of the bomb in war and controlling it explored and then it becomes fascinating.

This book is not fiction and so the needs of the narration do not require much in the way of accents, change of gender, or drama. The book is very well read by Malcolm Hillgartner with great clarity and a steady pace.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good historical tale!

I just started working at LANL. it was awesome hearing this story to and from work and imagining all the work that went on in this area. I passed Bathtub Row and the pond during lunch. it was cool hearing the history behind these sites.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Just a small fact, in Thailand Japan built a railway to Burma, 200,000 died. a number equal to both bombs. All over Asia Japan showed no respect for life.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I really didn’t know that much

I’ve read a lot of history of WW2 but I have to confess I really didn’t know very much about the Manhattan Project. Arguably among the most significant scientific projects of modern time. This book begins slowly much like the project did. As the story is revealed the pace and intensity increases and it becomes a page turner. I learned a lot and I have a much greater appreciation for the challenges that had to be overcome. I have referred to this book in several conversations recently. It’s a good book. Give it a try.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Shocking murderous war criminals

Great story. Well told. Incomprehensible evil. To use the bomb as they did. Forever shame.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Trinity, Manhattan, and two guys

Oppie and Groves take a back seat to "everything you always wanted to know about Trinity and the Manhattan Project but were afraid to ask". This isn't a bad thing. The book is chock full of interesting information. But it isn't a biography of these men. One thing the author misses is Leo Szilard's importance overall, and doesn't show him in a very good light. This is unfortunate. See the PBS/American Experience documentary "Leo Szilard: The Genius Behind the Bomb" for the real story..

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing true story

The story of the making of the atom bomb is an incredible journey of two men who deserve a place in history. But war is still with us sadly

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Important story about the development of nuclear weapons

The General and the Genius: Groves and Oppenheimer--The Unlikely Partnership That Built the Atom Bomb, by James Kunetka (2015, 14 hours audiobook). This is a deep dive into the genesis of the Manhattan Project, the work of multiple laboratories supporting the development of atomic weapons with a focus on Los Alamos Labs, the deployment of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the postwar nuclear weapons development and international controls, all seen through the lens of the relationship between and personalities of project head General Leslie Groves and laboratory head Robert Oppenheimer. Well written and a nice complement to the more general The Great Lecture Series audiobook, the similarly titled The General and the Geniuses.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

I really good book about the Manhattan project. I enjoyed the adequate amount of technical information for a non-physicist. The book was just the right length and depth.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Keeps your interest without being dry

The personalities of these historical figures have been brought to life and are woven into the narrative with skill. It is obvious the author has researched his subjects and the historical facts surrounding them. I enjoyed the book.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dr S Bhatt
  • Dr S Bhatt
  • 08-23-21

Great book

Not as good as the making of the Atomic bomb, but it’s really great. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in the bomb. The book is not only about Oppie and groves but about all aspects of the Manhattan project

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stuart C. Taylor
  • Stuart C. Taylor
  • 02-14-22

Excellent!

I read the classic account by Richard Rhodes, but this stands up very well indeed as a very human telling of the story

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michal
  • Michal
  • 11-13-21

Misleading title - a promise not kept

This is a well written story of the Manhattan Project but it doesn't live up to its title. it's solid and a good read by most of the book is tangential to its promise. The author chooses to talk about so many side shows and side characters he seems to run out of steam to write about what he promised to do so with the book title.

it's a good book and a solid primer to the story of the Manhattan Project but it doesn't fulfill its promise