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One Second After [Kindle Edition]

William R. Forstchen , Newt Gingrich , William D. Sanders
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,893 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $7.00 (70%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real...a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP).  A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.
Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this entertaining apocalyptic thriller from Forstchen (We Look Like Men of War), a high-altitude nuclear bomb of uncertain origin explodes, unleashing a deadly electromagnetic pulse that instantly disables almost every electrical device in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Airplanes, most cars, cellphones, refrigerators—all are fried as the country plunges into literal and metaphoric darkness. History professor John Matherson, who lives with his two daughters in a small North Carolina town, soon figures out what has happened. Aided by local officials, Matherson begins to deal with such long-term effects of the disaster as starvation, disease and roving gangs of barbarians. While the material sometimes threatens to veer into jingoism, and heartstrings are tugged a little too vigorously, fans of such classics as Alas, Babylon and On the Beachwill have a good time as Forstchen tackles the obvious and some not-so-obvious questions the apocalypse tends to raise. Newt Gingrich provides a foreword. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In a Norman Rockwell town in North Carolina, where residents rarely lock homes, retired army colonel John Matherson teaches college, raises two daughters, and grieves the loss of his wife to cancer. When phones die and cars inexplicably stall, Grandma’s pre-computerized Edsel takes readers to a stunning scene on the car-littered interstate, on which 500 stranded strangers, some with guns, awaken John’s New Jersey street-smart instincts to get the family home and load the shotgun. Next morning, some townspeople realize that an electromagnetic pulse weapon has destroyed America’s power grid, and they proceed to set survival priorities. John’s list includes insulin for his type-one diabetic 12-year-old, candy bars, and sacks of ice. Deaths start with heart attacks and eventually escalate alarmingly. Food becomes scarce, and societal breakdown proceeds with inevitable violence; towns burn, and ex-servicemen recall “Korea in ’51” as military action by unlikely people becomes the norm in Forstchen’s sad, riveting cautionary tale, the premise of which Newt Gingrich’s foreword says is completely possible. --Whitney Scott

Product Details

  • File Size: 652 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; Reprint edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002LATV16
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #938 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
648 of 693 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Frighteningly Realistic Scenario March 19, 2009
By PaulB
Fans of the author will not be disappointed by his latest work.
Forstchen examines the effect of an attack on the U.S.A. using an EMP(or rather three EMPs). The electro magnetic pulse ruins most electrical gadgets; computers and anything controlled by them, data storage, modern vehicles and planes, electricity generators,water supply, medical equipment, phones and radios.
The small town in which the story is set reverts to a barter economy and its shops soon run out of food and medicines. Local law enforcement has to cope with increasingly desperate local citizens,stranded motorists, and refugees from the big cities hoping to find food and shelter.
Forstchen examines the big issues mainly by looking at the impact on one family. This approach works well, and the reader is drawn in, wondering "what would I do in that situation?"
The reason I gave this book 4 stars rather than 5 may sound trivial. Every single "could have, should have, would have, might have" in the book is written as "could of, should of" etc.After reading several dozen of these I almost ended up shouting at the book. I guess I'm getting old.
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244 of 269 people found the following review helpful
By aes74
I have read serial killer books, grisly murder books, but this was hands down the scariest book I have ever read. A book that caused me to lose sleep and kept me thinking long after I was finished reading.

The book follows what happens to an American community after and EMP attack is visited on our country. EMP occurs when a nuclear bomb is detonated above the atmosphere, causing every single thing in it's range containing anything electronic to fail. Cars, planes, pacemakers, electricity, you name it, it's gone forever. The country is immediately plunged into the dark ages, the population far too large to be supported by 18th century technology. Different parts of the country fare better or worse depending on their locations to urban areas. Gangs roam the land, bringing death and destruction to any remaining survivors.

What is frightening about this book is the fact that it is a very real possibility. The government is currently studying EMP attacks, as it is probably a more real threat than the thermonuclear attack we have always been raised to fear. If you ever had a thought of having your home prepared for a disaster, you will be propelled into action after reading the horrors entailed here for anyone who does not.

The day after reading I could not help but realize how fully dependent we are on electronics and technology. I found myself cataloging each thing I did during the day. How long can you last with the food in your pantry and maybe a week's worth of water before it becomes contaminated and cholera, dysentery, and thyphoid break out?

You may not have ever imagined America as a third-world country. This book will force you to.

By the way, if you have a project due or deadline, finish it before you pick this book up. It sucks you right in and you are compelled to finish it instead of doing anything else. I really came to love and care about the characters. It was hard to "watch" as the worst befell them.
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449 of 528 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't get scared, get ready! March 30, 2009
I live in Black Mountain, NC, and am a personal friend of Dr. Forstchen, so I read this latest book of his with considerable interest. I would highly recommend it.

The EMP event he describes might presently be improbable, but is certainly possible. Nicholas Taleb would undoubtedly recognize it as a "Black Swan" event: something that lies outside the range of normal experience, but that has a catastrophic impact. Taleb pointed out that humans have a tendency to excessively discount and underestimate Black Swans, so I would encourage readers to be careful not to dismiss Forstchen's book just because the scenario he paints is improbable. Furthermore, an EMP attack is hardly the only thing that might result in the substantial or total collapse of the economy and civilization; there are a range of possible scenarios, and the practical effect of living through them and their aftermath might not differ all that much from what Forstchen describes.

Some might be tempted to feel depressed after reading "One Second After", or to consider Forstchen's outlook to be excessively pessimistic. On the contrary, I consider his to actually be a rather optimistic view. Importantly, his story line assumes that the townspeople DO come together and cooperate with each other; the town government does hold together, and the town leaders do lead. The town does not devolve into "every person for themselves" anarchy, as so many other post-apocalyptic visions presume. It is also optimistic in that the townspeople do actually win in a horrific battle against a nightmarish roving gang. It is optimistic in that the protagonist and the other characters do succeed in the struggle to maintain their humanity and deepest held values.

So, read the book. But then what?
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1,187 of 1,421 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sobering, yet flawed April 14, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I have been flogging the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack scenario to friends and relatives since early 2008, when it became apparent to me that the U.S. had lost the will to halt nuclear proliferation among terror-sponsoring states. I reasoned that a stateless actor or an apocalyptic regime might calculate that an EMP attack would actually create more casualties and more economic damage than a direct strike on any one city. An EMP attack also has the advantage of being the equivalent of hitting the broad side of a barn. Just get the nuke up a couple hundred klicks and go "boom," rather than trust your missile's guidance to hit an urban center from offshore or (alternatively) risk detection of a smuggled warhead. Lastly, the straightforward atomic bomb designs a nascent nuclear state is likely to deploy don't make as big a crater as a sophisticated "hydrogen" (fusion) bomb does, but they're already very effective at creating EMP.

Given the above, one would imagine I'd be among the vanguard in extolling this novel. For reasons great and small though, I was ultimately disappointed. In my opinion the story's biggest flaw is its implicit assumption that EMP would render irrevocably inoperable any integrated-circuit based device -- i.e., anything more advanced than wires, coils, and vacuum tubes -- and by extension anything that depended upon such devices (your modern automobile, for example). My readings so far of the findings of the ongoing EMP Commission (in particular April 2008, see suggest that this is a gross exaggeration.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Imagine all your electronic data and devices fried in an instant
This book is helpful, especially for those who are unclear on EMP. Anyone interested in the nitty gritty nuclear physics of EMP can read up on it in the Afterword of the book,... Read more
Published 12 hours ago by CaroleH
5.0 out of 5 stars A very realistic novel of just what might happen if ...
A very realistic novel of just what might happen if nuclear war breaks out. Hopefully it will be widely read and headed.
Published 1 day ago by Bonnie
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't keep my interest
Ummm, what can I say. I kept waiting for the "wow" to happen, but it didn't. The subject matter was interesting and informative, the writing well done. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Huckle Berry
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Everyone should read it.
Published 1 day ago by Old Timer
4.0 out of 5 stars Believable and frightning
Good and believable book with a chilling premise: a EMP pulse destroying all electronics in the civilised world, throwing us back to the 1800's. Read more
Published 1 day ago by S. Kreuger
5.0 out of 5 stars sobering awesome read.....
Absolutely captivating book. From page one it sucks you and unceremoniously dumps you on a cold dark mental roadside as you finish the final page.
Published 1 day ago by Mark Costello
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative, insightful coverage of a possible apocalyptic future...
This is a comprehensive education of the extremely possible EMP future attack. One can learn comprehensive survival skills by merely reading this story. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Child of God - Excellent reminder of the wordsmiths of our Savior. Thank you!//-
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Forstchen holds your attention of possibility every page
Published 2 days ago by Amanda Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, and very informative
I have had two copies of this book, because I had to replace the one I loaned out. Great read, and very informative.
Published 2 days ago by Windrunner
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Good read... enjoyed it. I did do a bit of research regarding the actual effects of an EMP event, and while it is expected that the power grids could go out for quite a long time,... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Daniel A Newberry
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More About the Author

WILLIAM R. FORSTCHEN has a Ph.D. from Purdue University with specializations in Military History and the History of Technology. He is a Faculty Fellow and Professor of History at Montreat College. He is the author of over forty books, including the New York Times bestselling series Gettysburg and Pearl Harbor (coauthored with Newt Gingrich), as well as the award-winning young adult novel We Look Like Men of War. He has also authored numerous short stories and articles about military history and military technology. His interests include archaeological research on sites in Mongolia, and as a pilot he owns and flies an original World War II "recon bird." Dr. Forstchen resides near Asheville, North Carolina with his teenage daughter Meghan and their small pack of golden retreivers and yellow labs.

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Topic From this Discussion
Law Enforcement take on book
I'm fascinated by the on going discussion here and hope it continues. Just to throw in a few points (and remember my Ph.D. is in History, not Electrical Engineering!). I was told that the test in question, using autos, did not "jack up" the disturbance "lay down" per... Read More
May 27, 2009 by William R. Forstchen |  See all 29 posts
Fiction Books about Electromagnetic Pulse

Warday by Whitley Strieber . Its an excellent book on EMPs and Radiation. fiction of course
Jul 6, 2009 by CaterpillarGirl |  See all 31 posts
Pricing for kindle ebooks
Amazon isn't losing sight of anything...they don't set the price, the publishers do. Google "The Agency System" to see why the pricing of most e-books is no longer in Amazon's hands.
Oct 23, 2010 by Larry Zieminski |  See all 5 posts
Wonderful book, but huge plot hole if this happened in real life!
Ah, yes, the biggest building [longest, anyway] I've ever seen! My bet is for Asheville to storm in and commandeer the food.
Mar 26, 2014 by Library Gaga |  See all 3 posts
The Big Spoiler, Please!
Early in September I attended a conference in upstate NY that focused on the threat of EMP to our infrastructure. Over a thousand were in attendance, including representatives from government, DOD, energy firms, etc. The consensus across the board was that the result of an EMP burst from a... Read More
Nov 3, 2009 by William R. Forstchen |  See all 28 posts
Cheaper mp3 audio version please. Be the first to reply
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