Fray Francisco Atanasio Dominguez Award, Historical Society of New Mexico

A social history of New Mexico’s “Atomic City”

Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the Atomic Age, is the community that revolutionized modern weaponry and science. An “instant city,” created in 1943, Los Alamos quickly grew to accommodate six thousand people—scientists and experts who came to work in the top-secret laboratories, others drawn by jobs in support industries, and the families. How these people, as a community, faced both the fevered rush to create an atomic bomb and the intensity of the subsequent cold-war era is the focus of Jon Hunner’s fascinating narrative history.

Much has been written about scientific developments at Los Alamos, but until this book little has been said about the community that fostered them. Using government records and the personal accounts of early residents, Inventing Los Alamos, traces the evolution of the town during its first fifteen years as home to a national laboratory and documents the town’s creation, the lives of the families who lived there, and the impact of this small community on the Atomic Age.


About The Author

Jon Hunner, Professor of History and Public History Director at New Mexico State University, is author of Inventing Los Alamos: The Growth of an Atomic Community.

Book Information
34 b&w illus. 2 maps
304 Pages
Paperback 978-0-8061-3891-6
Kindle 978-0-8061-4805-2
e-pub 978-0-8061-4806-9
Published August 2014
Resources