In a New Mexico blizzard, four men cross a barbed-wire fence at Stallion Gate to select a test site for the first atomic weapon. They are Oppenheimer, the physicist; Groves, the general; Fuchs, the spy. The fourth man is Sergeant Joe Pena, a hero, informer, fighter, musician, Indian. These four men -- and a cast of soldiers, roughnecks and ...
In a New Mexico blizzard, four men cross a barbed-wire fence at Stallion Gate to select a test site for the first atomic weapon. They are Oppenheimer, the physicist; Groves, the general; Fuchs, the spy. The fourth man is Sergeant Joe Pena, a hero, informer, fighter, musician, Indian. These four men -- and a cast of soldiers, roughnecks and scientists -- will change history forever.
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Publishers Weekly, 1986-03-14 Smith seamlessly blends fact and fiction in this towering novel, a successor to his remarkable Gorky Park. The story begins at Los Alamos in 1945, where hordes of people arrive and set up a community almost overnight. Sgt. Joe Pena, an Indian in the U.S. Army, is ordered by his superior, Capt. Augustino, to find or fabricate proof that Robert Oppenheimer is spying for ``the commies.'' The charge is silly, Pena knows, but he fails to convince Augustino, who also ignores the sergeant's evidence against two actual traitors at the site: Harry Gold and Klaus Fuchs. Pena's troubles multiply with his involvement with local Native Americans, disturbed by the mysterious activities on their land. As the days pass and work on the atom bomb progresses, the clash between Pena and the insanely bigoted captain becomes unavoidable. It occurs at the peak of suspense and leaves a lasting impact on the reader. This is a monumental thriller in which the tormented Oppenheimer, Edward Teller, General Leslie Groves and other historic figures live again. Equally memorable is Joe Pena, a genuine hero. 125,000 first printing; major ad/promo; BOMC alternate. (May 2)
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