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Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist for The California Book Award in Nonfiction The San Francisco Chronicle'sBest of 2017 List In These Times "Best Books of 2017" Huffington Post'sTen 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.
The true story of the leaking of the Pentagon Papers, the event which inspired Steven Spielberg's feature film The Post In 1971 former Cold War hard-liner Daniel Ellsberg made history by releasing the Pentagon Papers - a 7,000-page top-secret study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam - to the New York Times and Washington Post. The document set in motion a chain of events that ended not only the Nixon presidency but the Vietnam War. In this remarkable memoir, Ellsberg describes in dramatic detail the two years he spent in Vietnam as a U.S. State Department observer, and how he came to risk his career and freedom to expose the deceptions and delusions that shaped three decades of American foreign policy. The story of one man's exploration of conscience, Secrets is also a portrait of America at a perilous crossroad. "[Ellsberg's] well-told memoir sticks in the mind and will be a powerful testament for future students of a war that the United States should never have fought." -The Washington Post "Ellsberg's deft critique of secrecy in government is an invaluable contribution to understanding one of our nation's darkest hours." -Theodore Roszak, San Francisco Chronicle