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The Doomsday Machine is Ellsberg's hair-raising insider's account of the most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization, whose legacy - and renewal under the Obama administration - threatens the very survival of humanity. It is scarcely possible to estimate the true dangers of our present nuclear policies without penetrating the secret realities of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, when Ellsberg had high-level access to them. No other insider has written so candidly of that long-classified history, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era. Ellsberg's analysis of recent research on nuclear winter shows that even a 'small' nuclear exchange would cause billions of deaths by global nuclear famine. Ellsberg, in the end, offers steps we can take under a new administration to avoid nuclear catastrophe.
Framed as a memoir, this thriller with cloak-and-dagger intrigue places Ellsberg back in his natural role as whistle-blower. It is a real-life Dr. Strangelove story but an ultimately hopeful - and powerfully important - audiobook.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Terry Masters on 12-07-17
Fascinating Insider Story
This is an excellent book on nuclear weapons policy and planning at the highest levels of government as told from an insider's perspective. Given the author's personal involvement in the topics discussed, it is a rare glimpse into the inner-workings of a highly secretive realm. There are mind-blowing historical facts described, and probably everyone should read and contemplate the associated issues. Be forewarned, though, the price of becoming informed will probably be increased cynicism, fear and incredulity.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
By Philomath on 12-10-17
Are we nuts??
The strongest powers in the world, those who possess enough nuclear weapons to destroy the earth 100 times over, lead by the righteousness of the United States, plan to cut their nose to spite their face.
It is incredible that they are willing to destroy humanity to prove a point. Deterrence is a sorry ass excuse for eliminating human and animal life on Earth.
This is a story of an insider talking about secrets and plans, which are still going on. Who are those people that get to decide humanities end?
Does anything justify total annihilation? This is the big question of this book, with many insider facts I doubt anyone ever knew. Highly recommended for those who have the power to change things.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Thad Beumont on 01-24-18
Interesting book - hideous audiobook!
The subject of this book is really very interesting. He has had an interesting and varied career deep within the American apparatus behind the planning and organisation of the nuclear arsenal. He makes a compelling argument for why the oft quoted defense of "deterrence" for holding vast nuclear arsenal is a bit of a tautology.
However, the narrator is hideous. Truly awful. Utterly and totally unlistenable to. At several points, it is completely indistinguishable from a very poor synthesized voice. In fact, it's probably worse as he doesn't seem to be aware of punctuation or what it's for.
A shame, I have had to download the book to read and return the audio book purely because the narration is so awful
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Anonymous User on 06-01-18
Actually gave me nightmares.
this book cyrstalised all my assumptions and understanding of the futility of a nuclear arsenal and especially a First Strike capability. the author's insight is hugely enlightening and surprising if not shocking.