Summary of Uranium

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Uranium book summary


9 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

10 Style


This is a great story about a very special rock which was formed millions of years ago, and continues to breed a deadly form of energy. Tom Zoellner’s factual book about uranium reads like a gripping novel. He breathes vigorous life into a saga that could have been a dry political and geological tale. His beautifully crafted story puts uranium into its complex context as a key protagonist on the world stage. Zoellner’s reporting ranges from the Congo to Nazi Germany to the war in Iraq, with vivid information at every turn. getAbstract found this meticulously researched book exceptionally interesting, and recommends it to anyone interested in discovering how society entered the atomic age and how it is muddling through.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What unique role uranium plays in modern politics, warfare and power;
  • How the U.S. developed the first atomic bomb; and
  • How powerful nations try to monitor the uranium trade, and mostly fail.

About the Author

Tom Zoellner wrote The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire, an American Library Association “Notable Book,” and he co-authored An Ordinary Man. He is a former Men’s Health contributing editor and San Francisco Chronicle reporter.



Natural Danger
Uranium, the core element in the atomic bomb, is most powerful in the form of enriched U-235 – heavily concentrated uranium ore. At a 20% concentration, U-235 can create a spontaneous explosion due to its unstable molecular composition and its atomic inclination to divide...

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