Beating Ploughshares into Swords

It took longer to publish than to write, but Ploughshares is now complete.  It tells how civilians and the great Institute of Caltech combined with allied armies ans navies to win WWII.

Thomas S. Fiske has followed the lives of two people as they grew up in what was rapidly becoming a war-torn world.  They joined forces with Caltech, which saw it coming and which chose to become a rocket factory.  No, this is not about JPL.  This is a story about aircraft ordinance, China Lake and the atomic bomb, while civilians live out their quiet lives, losing brothers, husbands, fathers and  others in places they never heard of.

The information for Ploughshares came from real people, some of them in their nineties, who unselfishly told their stories that either were part of the Caltech saga or were part of the huge drama associated with the people who took part in the Pasadena, CA, episode.

There are secrets told on these pages.  And stories that people once knew but forgot years before.   One of them is that there was enough rocket fuel in Eaton Canyon to blow Pasadena off the map.   How it got there and what it was used for is part of the saga of Ploughshares.

The wisdom of Caltech’s leaders and the ability of its single-minded, steadfast managers to defeat politicians at their own game allowed the Caltech program to continue to success in three areas:  One was the rocket program;  the second was the building of China Lake when people and materials were not available; and the third was special projects on the atomic bomb.

Mel Melzian, Carl Anderson, Bob Leighton, Willy Fowler, Charles Lauritsen, Charles  Wilts and many other people  made it happen.  And the free world, which ought to be grateful, has forgotten.  Ploughshares brings it all back together with the daily lives of civilians during those dark days.

Ploughshares is a small history complete with an index and covers about 324 pages.  It is offered at all dot com book stores such as Amazon on the Internet.

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