[From the book cover]
From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America’s Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that–chillingly–continues to this day.
Here, for the first time, former high level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking first-hand account of America’s nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization–and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration–threatens our very survival. No other insider with high level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
Framed as a memoir–a chronicle of madness in which Ellsberg acknowledges participating–this gripping expose reads like a thriller and offers feasible steps we can take to dismantle the existing “doomsday machine” and avoid nuclear catastrophe, returning Ellsberg to his role as whistleblower. The Doomsday Machine is thus a real-life Dr. Strangelove story and an ultimately hopeful–and powerfully important–book about not just our country, but the future of the world.
“Gripping and unnerving . . . Ellsberg concludes his dramatic elucidation of how the nuclear arsenal endangers all of life on Earth with steps for dismantling this Doomsday Machine. A must-read of the highest order, Ellsberg’s profoundly awakening chronicle is essential to our future.” – starred review, Booklist
“Ellsberg’s brilliant and unnerving account makes a convincing case for disarmament and shows that the mere existence of nuclear weapons is a serious threat to humanity.” – starred review, Publishers Weekly
“Noted gadfly Ellsberg returns with a sobering look at our nuclear capabilities . . . When the author hurriedly copied the contents of his RAND Corporation safe to reveal, in time, what would become known as the Pentagon Papers, that was just the start of it. He had other documents, even more jarring . . . Especially timely given the recent saber-rattling not from Russia but North Korea and given the apparent proliferation of nuclear abilities among other small powers.” – Kirkus Reviews
“An absolutely imperative read in this day and age of Trump, Putin, Kim Jong Un, and global instability.” – Helen Caldicott, Founding President, Physicians for Social Responsibility
“This long-awaited chronicle from the father of American whistleblowing is both an urgent warning and a call to arms to a public that has grown dangerously habituated to the idea that the means of our extinction will forever be on hair-trigger alert.” – Edward Snowden
“Nobody could have told this horrifying story better than Daniel Ellsberg. He introduces us to the men who have coldly and empirically put in place a plan that can, on a whim–not virtually, but literally–annihilate life on Earth. What a book.” – Arundhati Roy, anti-nuclear activist, author of The God of Small Things and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness