The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb

The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes the gripping, untold story of a renegade group of scientists and spies determined to keep Adolf Hitler from obtaining the ultimate prize: a nuclear bomb

Scientists have always kept secrets. But rarely have the secrets been as vital as they were during World War II. In the middle of building an atomic bomb, the leaders of the Manhattan Project were alarmed to learn that Nazi Germany was far outpacing the Allies in nuclear weapons research. Hitler, with just a few pounds of uranium, would have the capability to reverse the entire D-Day operation and conquer Europe. So they assembled a rough and motley crew of geniuses - dubbed the Alsos Mission - and sent them careening into Axis territory to spy on, sabotage, and even assassinate members of Nazi Germany's feared Uranium Club.

The details of the mission rival the finest spy thriller, but what makes this story sing is the incredible cast of characters-both heroes and rogues alike-including:

Moe Berg the major league catcher who abandoned the game for a career as a multilingual international spy; the strangest fellow to ever play professional baseball.

Werner Heisenberg the Nobel Prize-winning physicist credited as the discoverer of quantum mechanics; a key contributor to the Nazi's atomic bomb project and the primary target of the Alsos mission.

Colonel Boris Pash a high school science teacher and veteran of the Russian Revolution who fled the Sovit Union with a deep disdain for Communists and who later led the Alsos mission.

Joe Kennedy Jr. the charismatic, thrill-seeking older brother of JFK whose need for adventure led him to volunteer for the most dangerous missions the Navy had to offer.

Samuel Goudsmit a washed-up physics prodigy who spent his life huntinh Nazi scientist-and his parents, who had been swept into a concentration camp-across the globe.

Irène and Frederic Joliot-Curie a physics Nobel-Prize winning power couple who used their unassuming status as scientists to become active members of the resistance.


Thrust into the dark world of international espionage, these scientists and soldiers played a vital and largely untold role in turning back one of the darkest tides in human history.

Title:The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb
ISBN:9780316381680
Format Type:

    The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb Reviews

  • Tadiana ?Night Owl?

    Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:Sam Kean, who wrote the delightfully informative Caesar’s Last Breath in 2017 about the topic of gases, including a section on nuclear bombs, delves more de...

  • Sean Gibson

    I received a review copy from the publisher, which has in no way affected my review, and, in fact, I had already preordered the book before they contacted me, because Sam Kean is like a non-fiction Sc...

  • Ross Blocher

    Sam Kean is already one of my favorite authors, and his latest offering is yet another fantastic blend of science and human interest. The Bastard Brigade unfolds the Allied effort to prevent Nazi Germ...

  • Pam Walter

    Sam Kean has shed light on a  WWII subject that until now has  remained in the shadows.  "The Bastard Brigade" is the true story of the renegade scientists and spies who sabotaged the nazi developm...

  • Steve

    Magnificent book on the crossroads of science and historyThere are the occasional science/history books, that when I reach the end, I go, "Oh no, I want more." The Bastard Brigade is one of those book...

  • Thomas Edmund

    By Kean's own admission B***** Brigade is a departure from his usual style, being a more focused A to B story. Although is some respects the story is much like the Brigade, an intriguing whole pieced ...

  • Collette

    I heard an interview with the author on Science Friday and ordered the book immediately. Wow, I started reading it this morning and I can barely put it down. The subtitle is completely, accurately des...

  • Ashley

    Wow, just wow! This was a great read, especially if you’d like to know more about WWII without the history textbook feel. This book reads like a novel and follows a very specific group of people who...

  • Jen

    The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Plot to Stop the Nazi Atomic Bomb was a surprise in a number of ways. In spite of my interest in WWII, I wasn't sure if this one would be a winner for me. Th...

  • Brandt

    In previous reviews, I have asked what the purpose of a "history" should be (and have caught shit for insisting that a good history serve as a mirror of our contemporary times.) I would think that giv...