Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801472893
ISBN-10: 080147289X
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$17.58 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$29.95 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
19 New from $23.39 17 Used from $15.00
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$29.95 FREE Shipping. Usually ships within 1 to 2 months. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs)
  • +
  • Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb
Total price: $42.36
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Whole World on Fire is a whole book about how the U.S. government uses flawed methodology and inaccurate data to plan for nuclear war. . . . The analysis of the nuclear war planning sector in Whole World on Fire is interesting, controversial, and likely to provoke debate, but the book is about much more than the minutiae of nuclear targeting. Eden, a research scholar at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, transforms the arcane world of planning for nuclear war into a nuanced case study for understanding organizational behavior. . . . Whole World on Fire is a significant contribution and should be read by anyone who is concerned about the accountability and effectiveness of powerful American organizations."―Science, March 19, 2004

"This investigation leads Eden into the more arcane and unsettling aspects of nuclear planning, and students of this area will find in her book much fascinating detail. More broadly, however, she seeks to demonstrate how institutional knowledge often leaves out critical facts―leading to disaster when incomplete information becomes the basis for action."―Foreign Affairs 83:1, January/February 2004

"Whole World on Fire is thoroughly researched and well documented. . . . Eden . . . reminds us of the importance of applying critical thinking to solving problems."―Lt. Col. Charles E. Costanzo, Ph.D., USAF, Ret., Maxwell AFB, Alabama, Air and Space Power Journal,Summer 2004

"This book has been deeply researched and is written exceptionally well. Whole World on Fire will stand . . . among the best in-depth studies of how organizations interact with the physical world."―Spencer D. Bakich, Virginia Quarterly Review 80:3

"Scientists who study the physics of mass fire, popularly known as firestorms, predict that the fire generated by a nuclear explosion would be more devastating than the nuclear blast effect. . . . Over the past six decades, US warplanners have failed to incorporate these grim realities into their scenarios, focusing instead on the blast effects. They have underestimated the damage nuclear weapons would cause and build far more warheads than needed for national security. Eden. . .reviews historical episodes, science and technology studies, and organizational theory to explain these war-planning decisions."―Choice, September 2004

"A differential, path-dependent understanding of blast and fire is at the center of Lynn Eden's masterful analysis. . . . This book is remarkably helpful to organizational theorists. Eden manages to keep multiple levels of analysis in play. . . . and suggests a cognitive mechanism for inertia. . . . as an active accomplishment, not a passive default."―Karl E. Weick, Administrative Science Quarterly, March 2005

"Whole World on Fire is a thoughtful examination of the effect of organizations on the science and technology of determining nuclear devastation. Lynn Eden's book is thoroughly researched and well written."―Dr. William J. Perry, Nineteenth U.S. Secretary of Defense

"Canny, bold, subtle, lucid, surprising, and distressing, Whole World on Fire demonstrates brilliantly that complex organizational processes having disastrous consequences need not remain mysterious if an investigator who combines perceptiveness, determination, and finesse comes along to unravel them."―Charles Tilly, Columbia University

"Lynn Eden's book is terrific. It is well written, well argued, theoretically innovative, empirically rich, methodologically sound, politically important, and controversial. She argues that the nuclear weapons community has misinformed policy-makers and the public by neglecting to calculate the ferocious effects of mass fires on nuclear targets. The puzzle of how so many people could be so wrong about something so important makes this an intrinsically interesting story. The political implications of Eden's argument are profound: not only are nuclear weapons even more destructive than we had thought, but there is a direct bearing on current issues in nuclear strategy."―Jonathan Mercer, University of Washington

About the Author

LYNN EDEN is Associate Director for Research/Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University. She is the author of Crisis in Watertown, coauthor of Witness in Philadelphia, coeditor of Nuclear Arguments, and an editor of The Oxford Companion to American Military History.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (March 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080147289X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801472893
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #931,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
50%
4 star
50%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By Jonathan Mercer on January 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Lynn Eden's book is terrific. It is well written, well argued, theoretically innovative, empirically rich, methodologically sound, politically important, and controversial.

Eden argues that the nuclear weapons community has misinformed policy-makers and the public about the consequences of nuclear explosions by neglecting to calculate mass fires' ferocious effects on nuclear targets. The weapons community continues to neglect mass fire because they believe it is neither predictable nor as important as blast effects. Eden argues against this conventional view. Her argument is not technical - for that she relies on two well known and well respected nuclear physicists - but historical and sociological. After translating the technical reasons why mass fire should be incorporated into models of nuclear weapons effects - the explosion creates its own environment which overwhelms local environmental factors - she addresses the alternative explanations and advances her own explanation for the neglect of mass fire. The puzzle of how so many people could be so wrong about something so important makes this an intrinsically interesting story.

The political implications of Eden's argument are profound. Not only are nuclear weapons even more destructive than we had thought, but her argument has a direct bearing on current issues in nuclear strategy. Increasingly, some deterrence theorists imagine limited strikes with low-yield weapons in a variety of scenarios - such as to deter the use of chemical and biological weapons. We should know what these weapons do before we contemplate using them.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If you're a hard-core, die-hard aficionado of nuclear weapons issues (in other words you get high reading about obscure, esoteric minutiae), this is the book for you. The author has shown admirable resolve in tracking down the details about the whys and wherefores of the nuclear weapons community's disdain for the damage caused by nuclear-induced fires. However she does get redundant more than she needs to be, and she early on makes the salient points that the rest of the book ponderously reiterates. She touches on the nuclear winter controversy, but in an almost cursory fashion; odd, considering the central role fires played in that raging debate. (I am proud that I avoided saying "that firestorm of controversy.")

Still I recommend adding it to the nuke fan's library as she does add a needed dimension to the entire philosophy of nuclear war fighting, a concept too absurd to exist in any but our own techno-crazed society.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse