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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Very good dust jacket. Binding: Hardcover. / Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing Publisher: Simon & Schuster / Pub. Date: 1992; c1992 Attributes: 350 p. ill. 25 cm. / Illustrations: B&W Photographs Stock#: 2058275 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Teller's War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars Deception Hardcover – February 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671701061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671701062
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,671,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of Star Warriors: A Penetrating Look into the Lives of the Young Scientists Behind Our Space Age Weaponry ( LJ 1/86), this book examines atomic scientist Edward Teller's Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars). Broad investigates what motivated the hydrogen bomb's creator to conceive a vastly ambitious array of defensive weaponry which, contrary to Teller's assertions, would fuel the nuclear arms race rather than end it. This vivid portrait of the genius behind America's nuclear weapons' program grapples with why Teller was driven to misrepresent the capabilities of Star Wars to the national security establishment, Reagan, and Bush. The Cold War is over but new rationales are being found for this program. Broad's book provides a public service in exposing it. The book is appropriate for informed laypersons, and essential for specialists in the field of nuclear weapons.
- Jennifer Scarlott, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

New York Times science-writer Broad (Star Warriors, 1985, etc.), twice a Pulitzer-winner, presents a refreshingly factual account of how physicist Edward Teller sold the Star Wars concept to two conservative Administrations--and adds some prescient comments on how to prevent such apparent abuses of power in the future. Teller, co-inventor of the hydrogen bomb, has long been known as one of America's most enthusiastic cold warriors. According to Broad, the charismatic Hungarian refugee's lifelong habit of spouting off innumerable wild scientific ideas, depending on peer review to separate out the good ones, turned dangerous as his increasing power and right-wing politics served to isolate him from his colleagues while winning him friends among conservative politicians. As a result, Broad says, when Teller became obsessed with the experimental X-ray laser project that would form the heart of Star Wars, he went straight to the White House to lobby for funds, ignoring a chorus of criticism from a wide array of experts. Teller's enthusiasm, the author explains, won the heart of Ronald Reagan, among other technologically unschooled officials, to the tune of $25 billion to date. Broad's thesis--that this phenomenal waste of funds (and Star War's potential to create instability among superpowers) was the result of a deplorable abuse of personal privilege, the defense industry's tradition of secrecy, and a lack of a governmental advisory panel for judging the technical merit of proposed weapons projects--is convincingly backed up by facts presented here. And it gives this tale of a man who in his enthusiasm may have betrayed ``the central principle of his profession''--and who continues to promote Star Wars' replacement project, Brilliant Pebbles--a particularly frightening resonance. A few gratuitous personal remarks (``Hungarians have a reputation for morose introspection, with associated high suicide rates'') detract from what is otherwise an important and eye- opening expos‚. (B&w photographs and drawings--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author



William J. Broad is a best-selling author and a senior writer at The New York Times. In more than thirty years as a science journalist, he has written hundreds of front-page articles and won every major journalistic award in print and film. His reporting shows unusual depth and breadth - everything from exploding stars and the secret life of marine mammals to the spread of nuclear arms and why the Titanic sank so fast. The Best American Science Writing, a yearly anthology, has twice featured his work.

He joined The Times in 1983 and before that worked in Washington for Science, the magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Broad has won two Pulitzer Prizes with Times colleagues, as well as an Emmy and a DuPont. He won the Pulitzers for coverage of the space shuttle Challenger disaster and the feasibility of antimissile arms. In 2002, he won the Emmy (PBS Nova) for a documentary that detailed the threat of germ terrorism. He was a Pulitzer finalist in 2005 for articles written with Times colleague David E. Sanger on nuclear proliferation. In 2007, he shared a DuPont Award (The Discovery Channel) from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for the television documentary, "Nuclear Jihad: Can Terrorists Get the Bomb?"

Broad is the author or co-author of eight books, most recently The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards (Simon & Schuster, 2012), a New York Times bestseller. His books have been translated into dozens of languages. His other titles include Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War (Simon & Schuster, 2001), a number-one New York Times bestseller; The Universe Below: Discovering the Secrets of the Deep Sea (Simon & Schuster, 1997); Teller's War: The Top-Secret Story Behind the Star Wars Deception (Simon & Schuster, 1992); and Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science (Simon & Schuster, 1982).

Broad's reporting has taken him to Paris and Vienna, Brazil and Ecuador, Kiev and Kazakhstan. In December 1991, he was among the last Westerners to see the Soviet hammer and sickle flying over the Kremlin.

Broad's media appearances include Larry King Live, The Charlie Rose Show, The Discovery Channel, Nova, The History Channel, and National Public Radio. His speaking engagements have ranged from the U.S. Navy in Washington, to the Knickerbocker Club in New York, to the Monterey Aquarium in California. He has also given talks at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.

Broad earned a masters degree in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He has three adult children and lives with his wife in the New York metropolitan area.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marc A. Breault on November 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book presents one aspect of the Strategic Defense Initiative: namely, the role of Edward Teller in the formation of X-ray lasers and Smart Pebbles. If you are looking for general coverage of SDI, this book is probably not for you. However, this book does present the Teller angle thoroughly and well. It portrays the scientist and his actions in the context of his psyche, the political environment in which he operated, and through the eyes of the scientists who participated in the program.
The reader will come away from this book with a much better appreciation for the factors that went into some of the major decisions affecting SDI. Broad covers the technical aspects of his subject matter, without alienating those of us who are not nuclear physicists, which I suspect represents a large percentage of the population.
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