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ISBN: 9781771862653

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Montreal and the Bomb


This one is a story peopled by leading figures of modern nuclear physics, bold chemists, and scientists accused of spying. The one idea driving them is to master the atom, whatever the result may be.

With war raging in Europe, the Allies worried about advances being made by Germans scientists. The British wanted to get a jump ahead of Hitler and the physicists working for the Third Reich. England was too close to the enemy, so they decided to secretly establish a nuclear research laboratory in Montreal. The best scientists moved to Montreal with two goals in mind: develop an ultra-powerful bomb and find a new source of energy. What started as cooperation with the Americans instead became a race to harness the energy of the atom when Washington launched the Manhattan project.

Montreal and the Bomb breathes new life into the exhilarating saga of European scientists secretly developing a strategic nuclear laboratory in the halls of the Université de Montréal. It’s a story peopled by leading figures of modern physics, bold chemists, and scientists accused of spying. The one idea driving them is to master the atom, whatever the result may be.

Translated from French by Katherine Hastings. Katherine Hastings is a Quebec-based translator. She has translated two novels by Jean-Michel Fortier, The Unknown Huntsman (2016) and The Electric Baths (2020), and co-translated Tatouine, a novel by Jean-Christophe Réhel (2020).

Please Note: A collection can contain up to 30% of the chapters from this title


Gilles Sabourin

Gilles Sabourin is a nuclear engineer specialized in the safety of nuclear power plants. Montreal and the Bomb is the result of fifteen years of intensive research into the atomic energy adventure in Montreal during the Second World War. He lives in the Montreal area.
Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


A peek into the diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King and his thoughts on the atomic bomb. 2 $0.20


This chapter explores the early days for the British-led project to develop an atomic bomb in a Montreal laboratory, looking at key figures in the project’s foundation and management such … 38 $3.80


This chapter continues to trace the history of this project, looking at key figures such as Bertrand Goldschmidt and the Quebec Conference, among other topics. 32 $3.20


This chapter outlines the evolution of the project, touching on The MAUD Committee, Lew Kowarski’s work on the project, The ZEEP design, chemicals experimentation, the De Gaulle meeting, … 41 $4.10


This chapter explores espionage networks in Canada and this nuclear project. It touches upon the stories of key figures such as Igor Sergeyevich Gouzenko, Alan Nunn May, and Bruno Pontecorvo, as … 36 $3.60


The conclusion explores the Montreal Laboratory employees’s reactions to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the document “Canada’s Role in Atomic Bomb Drama," Canada’s role in … 19 $1.90