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

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

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.

Title:The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War
Edition Language:English



Enjoy the book review !

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

  • Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin

    Very well put together history of US nuclear policy and war planning for use of nuclear weapons and the logic of WWIII mutual Assured destruction, chains of command, the development of the nuclear tr...

  • Peter Tillman

    WSJ review: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-bomb... (Paywalled. As always, I'm happy to email a copy to non-subscribers) Excerpt:"An amazing chapter, tantalizingly called Pulling Back the Curtain, te...

  • Daryll

    Interesting, fearsome, and a full on anxiety creator....

  • Paul

    Well crafted and comprehensive. Kaplan moves from the archival past of the 1940s and 1950s to the present day smoothly and effectively. He overturns many myths about the US nuclear posture and shows t...

  • Eric_W

    I read Kaplan's Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War and discovered it to be a very lucid explanation of the technological challenges faced by the security departments around the world. So ...

  • John Munro

    The author reviews the history of nuclear weapons strategy and its evolution from the Truman administration to current times. He describes the key participants in the process, including military comma...

  • Nick

    I enjoy Fred Kaplan's short form writing for Slate, and I thought his previous book on cyberwarfare gave a great overview of how that field of conflict has come into being in the last generation. The ...

  • Anthony

    An amazing history of our nuclear weapons program and how every President, from Truman to Trump, has had to grapple with the question of when and how to use them. This story really starts with the Eis...

  • Ryan Lackey

    Good book about the sweep of history with respect to US nuclear war policy from the late 1940s to today. Aside from the standard countervalue vs. counterforce arguments and questions about whether nuc...

  • Madeleine Elise

    In many ways, this book is extremely valuable. The history it provides is detailed, documented, and thorough like any historian would wish it to be. I could see, if you were to read this for a class, ...