The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 28, 2020 - History - 384 pages
From the author the classic The Wizards of Armageddon and Pulitzer Prize finalist comes the definitive history of American policy on nuclear war—and Presidents’ actions in nuclear crises—from Truman to Trump.

Fred Kaplan, hailed by The New York Times as “a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter,” takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “Tank” in the Pentagon, and the vast chambers of Strategic Command to bring us the untold stories—based on exclusive interviews and previously classified documents—of how America’s presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached, and just barely avoided nuclear war from the dawn of the atomic age until today.

Kaplan’s historical research and deep reporting will stand as the permanent record of politics. Discussing theories that have dominated nightmare scenarios from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Kaplan presents the unthinkable in terms of mass destruction and demonstrates how the nuclear war reality will not go away, regardless of the dire consequences.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lanewillson - LibraryThing

275 million dead. That was the estimate of the cost in human life of a nuclear war in SIOP 62, one of the United States' first strategic plans for such an event. This plan created by the era's great ... Read full review

The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Slate columnist Kaplan (Dark Territory) charts the fraught relationship between U.S. leaders and America’s nuclear arsenal in this thorough and frequently terrifying account. Drawing on interviews and ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Killing a Nation
4
The Race Begins
31
The Crises
48
This Goddamn Poker Game
76
Madman Theories
100
Bargaining Chips
121
A Super Idea
147
Pulling Back the Curtain
175
A Shrimp Among Whales
198
Lets Stipulate That This Is All Insane
222
Fire and Fury
260
Acknowledgments
299
Notes
303
Index
347
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About the author (2020)

Fred Kaplan is the national-security columnist for Slate and the author of five previous books, Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestseller), 1959, Daydream Believers, and The Wizards of Armageddon. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Brooke Gladstone.

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