TITLE: HEISENBERG'S WAR
AUTHOR: THOMAS POWERS
PUBLISHER: KNOPF; 609 PAGES; $27.50
THE BOTTOM LINE: This is a fascinating if argumentative account of why Hitler never developed nuclear weapons.
The Manhattan Project, America's prodigious World War II program to build an atom bomb, was set in motion by the fear that Hitler's Germany would produce the weapon first. Experts in the U.S. thought German science could have a lead in the race because a German chemist, Otto Hahn, had discovered nuclear fission in 1938. His countryman Werner Heisenberg was considered by many to be the world's leading physicist and was certain to...