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Arms Control


The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner

The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner Lowest new price: $17.40
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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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1983: Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink

1983: Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink Lowest new price: $16.67
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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: $25.96
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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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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: $14.49
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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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Deterrence and Nuclear Proliferation in the Twenty-First Century

Deterrence and Nuclear Proliferation in the Twenty-First Century Lowest new price: $63.99
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Author: Stephen J. Cimbala

This edited collection considers the future of nuclear weapons in world politics in terms of security issues that are important for U.S. and other policy makers. The spread of nuclear weapons also is related to the equally dangerous proliferation of other weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons, and of ballistic missiles of medium and longer ranges.

Cold War studies of nuclear weapons emphasized the U.S.-Soviet relationship, deterrence, and bilateral arms control. A less structured post-Cold War world will require more nuanced appreciation of the diversity of roles that nuclear weapons might play in the hands of new nuclear states or non-state actors. As the essays suggest as well, the possibility of terrorism by means of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction introduces other uncertainties into military and policy planning. An important analysis for scholars, students, and researchers involved with defense, security, and foreign policy studies.


Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism

Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Lowest new price: $112.92
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Author: James J. F. Forest
Brand: Brand: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin

In WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND TERRORISM, 2/e, Dr. James Forest and Brigadier General (Retired) Russell Howard have collected original and previously published seminal articles and essays by scientists, academics, government officials, and members of the nation’s security and intelligence communities. The editors and several of the authors write from practical field experience in nonproliferation and counterterrorism efforts. Others have had significant responsibility for developing government policies to address the threat of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. The contributors include many significant names in the field including Bruce Hoffman, Ashton Carter, William Perry, Brian Jenkins, Jonathan Tucker, Charles Ferguson, David Albright, Gary Ackerman, and Gregory Koblentz.

Unit I of the book introduces key terms and addresses important strategic and policy debates. Authors explain how the new forms of terrorism affect the post-9/11 security environment and how weapons of mass destruction could give terrorists short-term, asymmetric attack advantages over conventional military forces. Unit II offers detailed accounts of the characteristics, availability, and dangers of specific types of WMD, along with five case studies that associate theory with practice―an important feature of this volume. Unit III is focused on key dimensions of the WMD threat to critical infrastructure. Unit IV deals with past, present, and future national and international responses to―and defenses against―the threat of WMD terrorism. And in the final section of the volume, authors provide several analytical frameworks for predicting future WMD threats, and draw from historical events to identify lessons and strategies for the future. Appendices include U.S. national strategy documents on countering terrorism and standards for controlling WMD materials and technologies.

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Nuclear Proliferation after the Cold War (Woodrow Wilson Center Special Studies)

Nuclear Proliferation after the Cold War (Woodrow Wilson Center Special Studies) Lowest new price: $15.60
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Brand: Brand: Woodrow Wilson Center Press

Today, former Soviet republics threaten to gain control over nuclear weapons sited on their territories, and reports on North Korea, Pakistan, India, and Iraq reveal current or recent weapon development programs. In this climate, Nuclear Proliferation after the Cold War offers a timely assessment of the prospects for nuclear nonproliferation.

Woodrow Wilson Center Press.

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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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Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy

Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy Lowest new price: $21.26
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Author: Trita Parsi
Brand: YALE

The definitive book on Obama’s historic nuclear deal with Iran from the author of the Foreign Affairs Best Book on the Middle East in 2012

This timely book focuses on President Obama’s deeply considered strategy toward Iran’s nuclear program and reveals how the historic agreement of 2015 broke the persistent stalemate in negotiations that had blocked earlier efforts.

The deal accomplished two major feats in one stroke: it averted the threat of war with Iran and prevented the possibility of an Iranian nuclear bomb. Trita Parsi, a Middle East foreign policy expert who advised the Obama White House throughout the talks and had access to decision-makers and diplomats on the U.S. and Iranian sides alike, examines every facet of a triumph that could become as important and consequential as Nixon’s rapprochement with China. Drawing from more than seventy-five in-depth interviews with key decision-makers, including Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, this is the first authoritative account of President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement.

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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: $7.00
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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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