He came away “as shocked and appalled as he’d ever felt in his life,” Kaplan writes. Offer redeemable at Simon & Schuster's ebook fulfillment partner.

The responsibility can be a lonely one. The unassuming title of The Bomb does not do justice to the enormous amount of knowledge, research and detail that Kaplan brings to the subject of the history of the development and use of nuclear weapons. Today, McNamara is best remembered for his leading role in the bloody escalation of the war in Vietnam. For decades, American presidents have found themselves in a similar predicament, as revealed with bracing clarity by “The Bomb,” Fred Kaplan ’s rich … The chapter on Trump and nuclear weapons is nothing less than alarming.”—Timothy Naftali, author of George H.W. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. The generals explained why it 2,000 was more than enough. I didn't buy the book to hear the personal views of a "never-Trumper". $3.99 On itunes. The new secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, received a briefing on the targeting plan from Gen. Thomas Power, a protégé of LeMay, who privately described Power as a sadist. “North Korea,” writes Kaplan, is “the shrewd lunatic who very visibly throws his steering wheel out the window, forcing the other, more responsible driver to veer off the road.”. 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. But that arsenal was still enough to stagger, if not snuff out, civilization, since the Russians and Chinese kept stockpiling their own weapons. But he ultimately opted against it. "—Wall Street Journal, “With its stunning, new, in-the-room revelations, and with Fred Kaplan’s deep knowledge of nuclear strategy, The Bomb is the best overview yet of the world's continuing struggle to come to terms with the threat of nuclear war.”—Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Arsenals of Folly, “Fred Kaplan is the world’s preeminent Dr. Strangelove-whisperer, and The Bomb is the smartest, most riveting, and up-to-date history of how US leaders, military and civilian, have thought the unthinkable. Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War, It’s an old joke, but a good one. Many were less worried about Kim than about the self-declared “very stable genius” in the White House. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Most scare of all is that when Trump was briefed by the Generals that once there were 30,000 nuclear weapons, but only 2,000 now, Trump's reaction was to ask why can't I have that many?

The diplomats bought time but never succeeded in disarming the angry saber-rattlers in Pyongyang. Turning to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who was sitting beside him, Kennedy said, “And we call ourselves the human race.” The president, notes Kaplan, “instructed everyone in the room not to tell anybody else about even the subject of the meeting.”. One of the most fascinating tales in Kaplan’s book concerns a consequential break in that pattern, brought about in part by an unlikely figure: Dick Cheney. ( Log Out /  Please try again. This book has enabled me to understand better US thinking towards using the bomb, and how it has changed and evolved over the decades.

At this point in time, there are no checks and balances in place to prevent a dangerously ignorant and unstable President from launching nuclear missiles. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. His philosophy of how to win modern wars, Kaplan writes, was simple: “Bomb everything.” For many years, LeMay exercised remarkable influence over nuclear policy by maneuvering to secure the Strategic Air Command’s near-total control of the arsenal while avoiding any meaningful civilian oversight. Very readable and credible history of official US nuclear bomb policy.

The generals talked him down again.

No signup or install needed. After Kennedy’s initial briefing on the SIOP, there was stunned silence in the room. In “The Bomb,” he uses more recently released classified documents to focus on the actual policymakers, describing with lucidity and a healthy dose of dark irony their trips down the rabbit hole.

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