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“Authoritative and chilling. . . . A readable, many-tentacled account of the decades-long military standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union. . . . The Dead Hand is deadly serious, but this story can verge on pitch-black comedy—Dr. Strangelove as updated by the Coen Brothers.”
—The New York Times
“Revealing, alarming and compelling throughout. . . . This richly reported account vividly chronicles the insanity of the arms race. . . . Taut, crisply written. . . . The Dead Hand puts human faces on the bureaucracy of mutual assured destruction, even as it underscores the institutional inertia that drove this monster forward. . . . A fine book indeed.”
—T. J. Stiles, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Gripping. . . . Hoffman reinforces his scary thesis with breathtakingly detailed research.”
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Unsettling. . . . The Dead Hand argues convincingly that America’s victory in the Cold War wasn’t nearly as triumphant as the most self-congratulatory among us have tended to believe.”
—The Washington Post
“A stunning feat of research and narrative. Terrifying.”
—John le Carré
“The Dead Hand is a brilliant work of history, a richly detailed, gripping tale that take us inside the Cold War arms race as no other book has. Drawing upon extensive interviews and secret documents, David Hoffman reveals never-before-reported aspects of the Soviet biological and nuclear programs. It’s a story so riveting and scary that you feel like you are reading a fictional thriller.”
—Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone
“In The Dead Hand, David Hoffman has uncovered some of the Cold War’s most persistent and consequential secrets—plans and systems designed to wage war with weapons of mass destruction, and even to place the prospective end of civilization on a kind of automatic pilot. The book’s revelations are shocking; its narrative is intelligent and gripping. This is a tour de force of investigative history.”
—Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars and The Bin Ladens
“An extraordinary and compelling story, beautifully researched, elegantly told, and full of revelations about the superpower arms race in the dying days of the Cold War. The Dead Hand is riveting.”
—Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of An Army At Dawn
“No one is better qualified than David Hoffman to tell the definitive story of the ruinous Cold War arms race. He has interviewed the principal protagonists, unearthed previously undiscovered archives, and tramped across the military-industrial wasteland of the former Soviet Union. He brings his characters to life in a thrilling narrative that contains many lessons for modern-day policymakers struggling to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. An extraordinary achievement.”
—Michael Dobbs, author of One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War
David E. Hoffman is Contributing Editor at the Washington Post and author of The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia. He lives in Maryland.
David Hoffman wrote a very thought provoking and exciting book that read as a novel.
This book offers an outstanding look into nuclear biological and chemical weapons program of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Highly recommend this book to anyone who's remotely curious about the Cold War and its aftermath.
excellent depictions of weapons proliferation that occupied the Cold war era. A must read for anybody interested in this time period.Published 4 days ago by Kurtis Hinson
While this book is a welcome addition to the literature, most especially due to its unusually sympathetic and informed description of the Soviet - and post-Soviet, ie Russian -... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Michael Herzen
Great for those who want to know what took place that they don't teach in schoolsPublished 1 month ago by Charles J. Ingerson
Quite good information on many topics, but not really coherent story.Published 1 month ago by Peter Gyuros
If you think we only need to worry about Russia's nukes, read this. Even in a good decade, they have created a system of deception that must be accounted for.Published 1 month ago by Pete
Fantastic account of the later years of the Cold War arms race and the efforts at nonproliferation in the immediate fall of the Soviet Union.Published 2 months ago by Ben
Wow. No really, wow! I grew up during this era but I must say I was completely unaware of how incredibly tenuous the arms race was and close to something really bad happening we... Read morePublished 2 months ago by D-back
An incredibly interesting book for those who are interested in that era and conflict. You never know how close we really came to Armageddon until you've read this book.Published 2 months ago by Slade Mitchell