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The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons
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Top Customer Reviews
The book can roughly be divided into four parts. The first part concerns the first Gulf War and the dismantling of Iraq's nuclear infrastructure, the second part describes the race to secure nuclear material in the former Soviet republics after the fall of the Soviet Union, the third part briefly talks about South Africa's nuclear ambitions and and then in more detail about attempts to contain nuclear efforts by North Korea and the last part concerns the run-up to the second Gulf War and some final thoughts on the future of nuclear weapons. One striking omission in the book is Iran, and I think readers would have appreciated Rhodes's insightful thoughts on the Iranian nuclear problem.
The first part examines the troubling evidence in the 1980s that Saddam Hussein was trying to build a nuclear capability. Rogue Pakistani scientist A Q Khan had even tried to unsuccessfully sell Iraq a bomb design based on a Chinese weapon.Read more ›
This book is not for the unitiated, however. It assumes a certain level of knowledge (e.g., having read perhaps one of his earlier fabulous books).
It is a NON FICTION although some passages read like a fiction.
It is also quite ideological. It will definitely NOT please American and other conservatives who do not think much about reduction and ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons of any kind.
I am a retired natural scientist (chemist) and I did not realize that there is really not a fundamental difference between fission and fusion weapon - there is a minimum size for fission weapons but there is essentially no maximum size for fusion ('hydrogen') bombs.
In conclusion of the series of books the author presents the issue as an issue of public health. It is surely similar to public health but it is, in my opinion, not exactly the same. Hygiene came to us 'naturally', ban of nuclear weapons, sources of very un-natural death (nobody, as far as I know, ever called them 'act of God') does not look to me very 'natural'.
These notes are, of course, kind of philosophical and do not diminish the value of the collection of books that everyone who considers himself/herself an educated person should read.
All five stars, this is a unique series of books.
The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons, published first in 2010 and released this month by Vintage Books in a trade paper edition, is his latest treasure of information and anecdotes that mark the landscape of international politics and nuclear history in the post-Cold War era. It is a book of remarkable depth, unbiased in its presentation, and powerfully logical in its conclusions.
Children of the Cold War will easily recall the heated debates as well as the horrific nightmares dramatically expressed in the political arena, dating back to such television campaign ads as the one by Lyndon Baines Johnson, the "Daisy Girl" ad, in his successful 1964 bid for the White House against Arizona senator, and noted conservative idealogue, Barry Goldwater.
Fear haunted the generation of American children born in that era as they became aware of their vulnerability to nuclear attacks by America's ideological foes. A measure of false comfort was attempted upon children against the hopelessness and fear of a real attack. In public schools, students were required to participate in atomic bomb drills using a "duck and cover" defense, sometimes evoking increased fear, rather than a feeling of security.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This one of the finest books describing the impact of nuclear weapons and their pursuit post World War II. Having read Mr. Read morePublished 12 months ago by peter hilton
superb concluding book on the nuclear weapon era. History, as it should be written!!Published 16 months ago by S. G. Scott
There's no shortage of books about the development and testing of nuclear weapons by the two great Cold War adversaries, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Terry Sunday
I had read the first two books from Richard Rhodes about nuclear weapons (“The making of the atomic bomb” and “Dark Sun”) in the 1990s and both had really fascinated me. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Paolo Capoferro
Very well written, great follow on from the dark sun. Richard Rhodes takes you from tthe heights of the Cold War to its end and the legacy of this period of the 20th Century.Published 22 months ago by StuartMoodie
A wonderfully incisive book. Rhodes does it yet again. He is a consummate craftsman at writing non fiction in fictional forms which keeps one riveted from cover to cover. Read morePublished on June 10, 2014 by Ijaz Durrani
You really need to read all 4 of the books in this series, but this one is as chilling as all the others. Read morePublished on July 26, 2013 by Sefton Boyd
There have been numerous instances of newsworthy incidents where I have had direct knowledge of what happened and then went on to find many errors in published accounts. Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by Jerold D. Kowalsky