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Full text of "The Quick And The Dead - Volume 1: The Atom Bomb"

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President Harry S. Trumon 
Franklin D. Roosevelt 

Winston Churchill 

General Dwight D. Eisenhower 

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“There is a Srowing tendency in 

some quarters to act as 1f atomic 

energy were none of the American 
people’s business. In my opinion, 
this 18 nonsense, and dangerous 
nonsense. If schemers or fools 

or rascals or hysterical stuffed 
shirts take decisions about this 
thing out of your hands, it may 
then be too Iate to find out 

what it’s all about.’’ 


former head of the Atomic Energy Commission. 


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William L. ‘Laerente illustrates on a black- 
board the basic principle of atomic theory. 

It was in response to this challenge that the 
National Broadcasting Company’s News and 
special Events Department undertook the 
task of translating the story of the atomic 
bomb into simple, understandable language 
that every child or adult can absorb. 

William L. Laurence, New York Times 
science reporter, two-time Pulitzer Prize win- 
ner and the only newspaperman allowed back- 
stage at the building of the atomic bomb, was 
retained as technical consultant. Five News 
Room staff men were assigned to the project; 
affiliated stations in 20 cities were called upon 
to assist in recording scientists, atomic. work- 
ers and doctors in their areas. Fred W. 
Friendly was given the task of writing and 
producing the program, which was presented 
as a public service by the National Broadcast- 
ing Company in the summer of 1950. 

The response was one of the most amazing 
in the history of the network. From every 
corner of the United States thousands of let- 
ters poured in congratulating the National 
Broadcasting Company for its courageous de- 
cision to make available to the American tax- 
payer the facts about atomic energy and the 
atomic bomb. 

With Bob Hope as ‘‘Everyman,”’ and a host 
of leading Americans, among them the scien- 
tists who originally worked on nuclear fission, 
and directed the New Mexico atomic bomb 
experiments, NBC produced a dramatic series 

Bob Hose: the ‘‘Everyman’’ of The Ouick : aie the 
Dead, goes over his script ‘with writer-producer 
Fred Friendly before the broadcast. 

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of broadcasts which captured the interest of 

millions of radio listeners. So heavy was the 
mail response that several weeks later ‘‘The 
Quick and the Dead”’ was re- a Piporicast 1 in con- 
densed form. 

It is the condensed version of “The Quick 
and the Dead’’ which RCA Victor presents in 
two albums (Volume 1: LM-1129; Volume 2: 
LM-1130) with the conviction that only if the 
American public is aware and understands the 
meaning and importance of atomic energy, 

can it aid our leaders in determining its use in: 

the world of today and tomorrow. 

“The Quick and the Dead” is no dull, 
dreary scientific thesis on atomic energy. It is 
a fast-moving, dramatic story of how atomic 
energy, first discovered by Albert Einstein as 
an offshoot of the theory of relativity, devel- 
oped in the minds of scientists throughout the 
world; how one day in the squash courts under 
the West stands of the University of Chicago 
stadium controlled nuclear fission became a 

reality; and how atomic energy can be one of - 

civilization’s greatest assets. 
‘The Quick and the Dead”’ tells this story of 

the persistence of our scientific and military’ 

leaders in one of the most thrilling races 
against time the world has ever known. For 
the secret of atomic energy was not known to 
America alone. Much of the research had 
taken place in European countries which were 
our enemies during World War II. © 

Two of the crucial developments in the 
search for the key to atomic energy were the 
result of the research of scientists who were 
forced to flee their native countries and seek 
refuge in the laboratories of friendly allies 
immediately before World War II. 

There are scientists who say the true impli- 
cations of atomic energy for good or for evil 
may not be realized for generations. One 
thing is certain! That between 1934 and 1945, 
when the first atomic bomb was exploded on 
the testing grounds at Alamogordo, New 
Mexico, man had realized the centuries’ old 
dream of scientists and alchemists—creating 
and transforming energy and matter. 

The history of our civilization tells of alchem- 
ists who, working with crude equipment, 
attempted to create gold out of other natural 

elements. Atomic energy is a prize infinitely — 

more valuable than gold or any other precious 
metal. The Hanford stock piles in the state of 
Washington and the Oak Ridge atomic 
energy plants in Tennessee are living. monu- 

ments of man’s most spectacular scientific 


“The Quick and the Dead” tells this story 
brilliantly and incisively in the words of those 
who were there when it happened. It belongs 
in every home as a document of living history 
in which literally hundreds of thousands of 
American citizens played a part. It poses 
searching questions about the use of atomic 
energy in this moment of decision. 

William L. Laurence says: “If we could only 
keep the world from blowing itself up.’? And 
the echo comes from elder statesman Bernard 
Baruch: ‘‘We are here to make a choice be- 
tween the quick and the dead.”’ 


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