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Leslie Groves Signed Contract for "The Manhattan Project" - A Highly Important Artifact in the History of the Atomic Bomb

 

HARPER & BROTHERS, Printed Contract Signed with Typed Insertions, to Leslie R. Groves Jr. and Richard H. Groves, October 7, 1960, New York, NY. 4 p., 8.5" x 13.75".  Very good.

 

This contract between Harper & Brothers and Leslie R. Groves and his son Richard H. Groves is for a 100,000- to 150,000-word manuscript tentatively entitled “The Manhattan Project.” Harper & Brothers provided an advance of $2,500 and 10 percent royalties on the first five thousand copies. Two-thirds of all royalties were to be paid to Leslie Groves and the remaining one-third to Richard Groves.

 

Harper and Brothers published Groves’s account of the Manhattan Project as Now It Can Be Told: The Story of the Manhattan Project in 1962. In 1983, Da Capo Press republished the book with a new introduction by physicist Edward Teller.

 

  Leslie R. Groves Jr. (1896-1970) was a United States Army General with the Corps of Engineers who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. Born in New York to a Protestant pastor who became an army chaplain, Groves graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1918 in a course shortened because of World War I. He entered the Corps of Engineers and gained promotions to major by 1940. In 1941, he was charged with overseeing the construction of the Pentagon, the largest office building in the world, with more than five million square feet. Disappointed that he had not received a combat assignment, Groves instead took charge of the Manhattan Project, designed to develop an atomic bomb. He continued nominally to supervise the Pentagon project to avoid suspicion, gained promotion to brigadier general, and began his work in September 1942. The project headquarters was initially in the War Department building in Washington, but in August 1943, moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He and physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer selected the site in Los Alamos, New Mexico, for a laboratory, and Groves pushed successfully for Oppenheimer to be placed in charge. Groves was in charge of obtaining critical uranium ores internationally and collecting military intelligence on Axis atomic research. Promoted to major general in March 1944, Groves received the Distinguished Service Medal for his work on the Manhattan Project after the war. In 1947, Groves became chief of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. He received a promotion to lieutenant general in January 1948, just days before meeting with Army Chief of Staff Dwight D. Eisenhower, who reviewed a long list of complaints against Groves. Assured that he would not become Chief of Engineers, Groves retired in February 1948. From 1948 to 1961, he was a vice president of Sperry Rand, an equipment and electronics firm. After retirement, he served as president of the West Point alumni association and wrote a book on the Manhattan Project, published in 1962.

 

Richard H. Groves (1923-2011) was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, as the son of General Leslie R. Groves Jr.  He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1945, and served in the Corps of Engineers in Germany after World War II. He received a master’s degree in soil mechanics from Harvard University in 1950 and a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University in 1965. He also served two tours in Vietnam. In 1945, he married Patricia Bourke Hook (1923-2014). Groves served in the U.S. Army for 36 years and attained the rank of three-star general.

 

Ex. Leslie Groves Family, Christies Auction. 


This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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