The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner

Author(s): Daniel Ellsberg


At the same time former presidential advisor Daniel Ellsberg famously took the top-secret Pentagon Papers, he also took with him a chilling cache of top secret documents related to America's nuclear program in the 1960s. Here for the first time he reveals the contents of those documents, and makes clear their shocking relevance for today. The Doomsday Machine is Ellsberg's hair-raising insider's account of the most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization, whose legacy--and renewal under the Obama administration--threatens the very survival of humanity. It is scarcely possible to estimate the true dangers of our present nuclear policies without penetrating the secret realities of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, when Ellsberg had high-level access to them. No other insider has written so candidly of that long-classified history, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era. Ellsberg's analysis of recent research on nuclear winter shows that even a "small" nuclear exchange would cause billions of deaths by global nuclear famine. Ellsberg, in the end, offers steps we can take under a new administration to avoid nuclear catastrophe. Framed as a memoir, this gripping expose reads like a thriller with cloak-and-dagger intrigue, placing Ellsberg back in his natural role as whistle-blower. It is a real-life Dr. Strangelove story, but an ultimately hopeful--and powerfully important--book.


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From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness expose of the horrific dangers of America's hidden fifty-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day.

A powerful testament for future students of a war that the United States should never have fought. The Washington Post on SECRETS An invaluable contribution to understanding one of our nation's darkest hours. San Francisco Chronicle on SECRETS Daniel Ellsberg risked everything to help end the Vietnam War ... A real-life political thriller. USA Today on SECRETS

In 1961, Daniel Ellsberg, a consultant to the Department of Defense and the White House, drafted Secretary Robert McNamara's plans for nuclear war. Later he leaked the Pentagon Papers. He lectures and writes on the dangers of the nuclear era and the need for whistle-blowing. A Senior Fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Ellsberg is the author of Secrets and the subject of the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America. He lives in Kensington, California.

General Fields

  • : 9781608196708
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Press
  • : 0.75
  • : December 2017
  • : 235mm X 155mm
  • : United States
  • : January 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Daniel Ellsberg
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : en
  • : 355.02170973
  • : 384
  • : HBLW3