Cohen's second outstanding book on Israel's nuclear project, and the veil of ambiguity that has swathed it from inception, provides a richly detailed account of its history and a provocative analysis of its future. Cohen shows how Israel's beleaguered national existence and persistent Holocaust memories led to the taboo on any acknowledgment of its nuclear weapons program, which cannot, in his view, any longer serve Israel's interests. This is a splendid work of historical research as well as a thought-provoking challenge for both current and future Israeli and American policymakers.
(Samuel Lewis, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, 1977-1985)
This important book should be read by anyone interested in understanding the changes that Israel will need to make in its nuclear program as the world reduces reliance on nuclear weapons. Cohen makes a compelling case for why it is in Israeli's interest to confirm its nuclear weapons program and participate in efforts to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons.
(Morton H. Halperin, senior advisor, Open Society Institute)
Avner Cohen has written the most informed history of Israel's secret drive to get the bomb, and now he has gone further. In The Worst-Kept Secret, he describes and explains Israel's insistence that all talk or writing about its nuclear arsenal be exorcised from public discourse. The nuclear "taboo," as Cohen depicts it, continues unabated today, undermining Israeli democracy at home and its credibility abroad.
(Seymour M. Hersh, author of The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy
Cohen's persistent research and numerous books and articles have set the standard in the field and serve as an unrivaled source for anyone interested in Israel's biggest taboo. The Worst-Kept Secret provides a firm factual basis upon which our knowledge about Israel's nuclear program, with its richness of historic detail and personal anecdotes, rests. Moreover, it lays out a wide-ranging theoretical framework for discussing the pros and cons of Israel's amimut policy and its prolonged effect on the country's democracy and governance and its possible future revision. This book will undoubtedly serve as the new benchmark for studying and debating its topic.
(Aluf Benn, editor-at-large, Haaretz
[Cohen's] exploration of the issues is thoughtful, measured and deep, and very much worthy of wide consideration.
(Ethan Bronner New York Times
A brave, provocative, and very important book.
(Bruce Riedel Haaretz
Cohen reveals himself once again to be the reigning authority on the history of the Israeli bomb. Brilliant, compelling, and definitive
(Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb