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Arms Control


Above and Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America's Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission

Above and Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America's Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission Lowest new price: $15.48
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List price: $28.00
Author: Casey Sherman

From the authors of the bestselling The Finest Hours comes the riveting, deeply human story of President John F. Kennedy and two U-2 pilots, Rudy Anderson and Chuck Maultsby, who risked their lives to save America during the Cuban Missile Crisis


During the ominous two weeks of the Cold War's terrifying peak, two things saved humanity: the strategic wisdom of John F. Kennedy and the U-2 aerial spy program.

On October 27, 1962, Kennedy, strained from back pain, sleeplessness, and days of impossible tension, was briefed about a missing spy plane. Its pilot, Chuck Maultsby, was on a surveillance mission over the North Pole, but had become disoriented and steered his plane into Soviet airspace. If detected, its presence there could be considered an act of war.

As the president and his advisers wrestled with this information, more bad news came: another U-2 had gone missing, this one belonging to Rudy Anderson. His mission: to photograph missile sites over Cuba. For the president, any wrong move could turn the Cold War nuclear.

Above and Beyond is the intimate, gripping account of the lives of these three war heroes, brought together on a day that changed history.

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The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner

The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner Lowest new price: $12.21
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Author: Daniel Ellsberg
Brand: BLOOMSBURY

Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
Finalist for The California Book Award in Nonfiction
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Best of 2017 List
In These Times “Best Books of 2017”
Huffington Post’s Ten Excellent December Books List
LitHub’s “Five Books Making News This Week”


From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long 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 exposé 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.

An Amazon Best Book of December 2017: When Daniel Ellsberg was busy photocopying the Pentagon Papers—the set of classified documents that outlined the actual scope of the Vietnam War, the scale and illegality of which was unknown to the American public—he was also collecting information about the capabilities of the United States’ nuclear arsenal, in particular its philosophies and strategies regarding its use. Ellsberg, who worked in the highest levels of government crafting nuclear strategy before he became a whistleblower, lost those copies long ago, and for decades he held his knowledge close for fear of prosecution. But recent Freedom of Information Act disclosures have made him a little more comfortable in sharing his experience and information, and again, what he reveals that what we have been told— that these devastating weapons only existed as a method of deterrence—has never been true. Rather, the options of “first strike” or “first use” were, and are, always key components of American foreign strategy. That’s just from the introduction of The Doomsday Machine; what follows is an astonishing behind-the-scenes collection of detailed descriptions of global near-calamities, flawed launch protocols (both the U.S.’s military and our adversaries’), and the government’s own chilling estimates on the potential carnage following a nuclear conflict. At this moment especially, this book is terrifying. It’s also impossible to put down. --Jon Foro, Amazon Book Review

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  • BLOOMSBURY

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1983: Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink

1983: Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink Lowest new price: $16.67
Lowest used price: $14.00
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Author: Taylor Downing

A riveting, real-life thriller about 1983--the year tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union nearly brought the world to the point of nuclear Armageddon

The year 1983 was an extremely dangerous one--more dangerous than 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the United States, President Reagan vastly increased defense spending, described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire," and launched the "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative to shield the country from incoming missiles. Seeing all this, Yuri Andropov, the paranoid Soviet leader, became convinced that the US really meant to attack the Soviet Union and he put the KGB on high alert, looking for signs of an imminent nuclear attack.

When a Soviet plane shot down a Korean civilian jet, Reagan described it as "a crime against humanity." And Moscow grew increasingly concerned about America's language and behavior. Would they attack? The temperature rose fast. In November the West launched a wargame exercise, codenamed "Abel Archer," that looked to the Soviets like the real thing. With Andropov's finger inching ever closer to the nuclear button, the world was truly on the brink.

This is an extraordinary and largely unknown Cold War story of spies and double agents, of missiles being readied, intelligence failures, misunderstandings, and the panic of world leaders. With access to hundreds of astonishing new documents, Taylor Downing tells for the first time the gripping but true story of how near the world came to nuclear war in 1983.

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The Cold War: A World History

The Cold War: A World History Lowest new price: $24.99
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Author: Odd Arne Westad


The definitive history of the Cold War and its impact around the world


We tend to think of the Cold War as a bounded conflict: a clash of two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, born out of the ashes of World War II and coming to a dramatic end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. But in this major new work, Bancroft Prize-winning scholar Odd Arne Westad argues that the Cold War must be understood as a global ideological confrontation, with early roots in the Industrial Revolution and ongoing repercussions around the world.

In The Cold War, Westad offers a new perspective on a century when great power rivalry and ideological battle transformed every corner of our globe. From Soweto to Hollywood, Hanoi, and Hamburg, young men and women felt they were fighting for the future of the world. The Cold War may have begun on the perimeters of Europe, but it had its deepest reverberations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, where nearly every community had to choose sides. And these choices continue to define economies and regimes across the world.

Today, many regions are plagued with environmental threats, social divides, and ethnic conflicts that stem from this era. Its ideologies influence China, Russia, and the United States; Iraq and Afghanistan have been destroyed by the faith in purely military solutions that emerged from the Cold War.

Stunning in its breadth and revelatory in its perspective, this book expands our understanding of the Cold War both geographically and chronologically, and offers an engaging new history of how today's world was created.


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The Military Balance 2018

The Military Balance 2018 Lowest new price: $467.34
Lowest used price: $369.99
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Author: The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

The Military Balance is an authoritative assessment of the military capabilities and defence economics of 171 countries. Detailed A–Z entries list each country’s military organisation, personnel numbers, equipment inventories, and relevant economic and demographic data. Regional and select country analyses cover the major developments affecting defence policy and procurement, and defence economics. The opening graphics section displays notable defence statistics, while additional data sets detail selected arms orders and military exercises, as well as comparative defence expenditure and personnel numbers. The Military Balance is an indispensable handbook for anyone conducting serious analysis of security policy and military affairs. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, founded in 1958, is an independent centre for research, analysis and debate on the problems of conflict, however caused, that have, or potentially have, an important military dimension.

Amid continuing conflict and broadening insecurity, The Military Balance provides essential facts and analysis for decision-makers and for better informed public debate.
Because military affairs are inevitably clouded in fog, the IISS Military Balance is an essential companion
for those who seek to understand.
The Military Balance is widely recognised as the best unclassified source of defense information on personnel, equipment and budgets for every country.

 

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The Conscience of a Conservative

The Conscience of a Conservative Lowest new price: $5.25
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Author: Barry Goldwater

2011 Reprint of 1960 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. "The Conscience of a Conservative" was published by Goldwater when he was an Arizona Senator and a potential 1964 Republican presidential candidate. The book reignited the American conservative movement and made Barry Goldwater a political star. The book has influenced countless conservatives in the United States, helping to lay the foundation for the Reagan Revolution in 1980. The book is considered to be a significant statement of politically and economically American conservative ideas which were to gain influence during the following decades. The book continues to inspire contemporary political commentary.

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Arms and Influence: With a New Preface and Afterword (The Henry L. Stimson Lectures Series)

Arms and Influence: With a New Preface and Afterword (The Henry L. Stimson Lectures Series) Lowest new price: $14.28
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Author: Thomas C. Schelling
Brand: Yale University Press

Traditionally, Americans have viewed war as an alternative to diplomacy, and military strategy as the science of victory.  Today, however, in our world of nuclear weapons, military power is not so much exercised  as threatened.  It is,
Mr. Schelling says, bargaining power, and the exploitation of this power, for good or evil, to preserve peace or to threaten war, is diplomacy—the diplomacy of violence.  The author concentrates in this book on the way in which military capabilities—real or imagined—are used, skillfully or clumsily, as bargaining power.  He sees the steps taken by the U.S. during the Berlin and Cuban crises as not merely preparations for engagement, but as signals to an enemy, with reports from the adversary's own military intelligence as our most important diplomatic communications.  Even the bombing of North Vietnam, Mr. Schelling points out, is as much coercive as tactical, aimed at decisions as much as bridges.  He carries forward the analysis so brilliantly begun in his earlier The Strategy of Conflict (1960) and Strategy and Arms Control (with Morton Halperin, 1961), and makes a significant contribution to the growing literature on modern war and diplomacy. Stimson Lectures.
Mr. Schelling is professor of economics at Harvard and acting director of Harvard's Center for International Affairs.
 
"An exemplary text on the interplay of national purpose and military force."—Book Week. "A grim but carefully reasoned and coldly analytical book. . . . One of the most frightening previews which this reviewer has ever seen of the roads that lie just ahead in warfare."—Los Angeles Times. "A brilliant and hardheaded book. It will frighten those who prefer not to dwell on the unthinkable and infuriate those who have taken refuge in the stereotypes and moral attitudinizing."—New York Times Book Review.

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  • Yale University Press

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The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy

The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy Lowest new price: $6.98
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Author: David Hoffman
Brand: Anchor Books

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

The first full account of how the Cold War arms race finally came to a close, this riveting narrative history sheds new light on the people who struggled to end this era of massive overkill, and examines the legacy of the nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that remain a threat today.
 
Drawing on memoirs, interviews in both Russia and the US, and classified documents from deep inside the Kremlin, David E. Hoffman examines the inner motives and secret decisions of each side and details the deadly stockpiles that remained unsecured as the Soviet Union collapsed. This is the fascinating story of how Reagan, Gorbachev, and a previously unheralded collection of scientists, soldiers, diplomats, and spies changed the course of history.

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  • Anchor Books

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A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the "Mexican Drug War"

A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the "Mexican Drug War" Lowest new price: $10.00
Lowest used price: $6.84
List price: $15.95
Author: Carmen Boullosa
Brand: Or Books

A Narco History

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  • Or Books

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One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War

One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War Lowest new price: $4.69
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List price: $18.00
Author: Michael Dobbs
Brand: Brand: Vintage

In October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear conflict over the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba. In this hour-by-hour chronicle of those tense days, veteran Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs reveals just how close we came to Armageddon.

Here, for the first time, are gripping accounts of Khrushchev's plan to destroy the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo; the handling of Soviet nuclear warheads on Cuba; and the extraordinary story of a U-2 spy plane that got lost over Russia at the peak of the crisis.

Written like a thriller, One Minute to Midnight is an exhaustively researched account of what Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called “the most dangerous moment in human history,” and the definitive book on the Cuban missile crisis.

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