A Letter from the Publisher: Jul. 29, 1985

This has been a year of major anniversaries: the fall of Viet Nam ten years ago last April, V-E day 40 years ago last May. But no event has had as profound an impact on all our lives as the birth of the atomic age in the summer of 1945, and TIME felt it demanded special treatment.

To tell the story of what happened then and, more important, of how we have been affected since, Senior Writer Roger Rosenblatt set out on a 20,000-mile journey that took him from Los Alamos in New Mexico to the Pacific island of Tinian and...

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