By Jonathan Power
December 19th. 2017
The nuclear weapon missile business is contradictory, full of missteps, highly dangerous and prepared in its madness (Mutually Assured Destruction, aka MAD, they used to call it in Cold War days) to plunge the world into a nuclear war that will reduce most of the world to dust.
A new book, “The Doomsday Machine” by Daniel Ellsberg tells the whole nuclear bomb story in detail. No one has done it better. The only rival is the movie, “Dr Strangelove”, that got the essentials right without being privy to much of the Ellsberg’s knowledge.
Ellsberg is the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon papers, an expose of the US role in the Vietnam War. In this book he tells of his time in the 1960s as consultant to the Department of Defence and the White House.
He drafted Robert McNamara’s plans for nuclear war- McNamara was secretary of defence during the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy.
Five years ago, after he had finished the book, he tried 17 different publishers and it was rejected. Earlier this year he found a home with Bloomsbury, the publisher of Harry Potter, a book that was also rejected many times.
Why, at last? “The world got scarier”, he said in a long interview in the Financial Times last month. “The only silver lining to today’s world is that people now want to read my book”.Read More »