The Doomsday Machine
Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
From the legendary Pentagon Papers whistle-blower, an eyewitness exposÃ© of America's Top Secret, seventy-year nuclear policy that continues to this day.
Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
Framed as a memoir--a chronicle of madness in which Ellsberg acknowledges participating--this gripping exposÃ© reads like a thriller and offers feasible steps we can take to dismantle the existing "doomsday machine" and avoid nuclear catastrophe, returning Ellsberg to his role as whistle-blower. The Doomsday Machine is thus a real-life Dr. Strangelove story and an ultimately hopeful--and powerfully important--book about not just our country, but the future of the world.
About this Author
In 1961, Daniel Ellsberg, a consultant to the White House, drafted Secretary Robert McNamara's plans for nuclear war. Later he leaked the Pentagon Papers. A senior fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, he is the author of Secrets and the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America. He is also a key figure in Steven Spielberg's film about the Pentagon Papers, The Post, and the winner of the Olof Palme Prize for profound humanism and exceptional moral courage. He lives in Kensington, California, with his wife, Patricia.
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