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The Bomb by Fred Kaplan

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Fred Kaplan, hailed by The New York Times as “a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter,” takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “Tank” in the Pentagon, and the vast chambers of Strategic Command to bring us the untold stories—based on exclusive interviews and previously classified documents—of how America’s presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached, and just barely avoided nuclear war from the dawn of the atomic age until today.

Based on exclusive interviews and extensive research into the archives, uncovering hundreds of once-classified document, The Bomb shines new light on the darkest aspect of our times.

Advance Priase for The Bomb:

“With its stunning, new, in-the-room revelations, and with Fred Kaplan’s deep knowledge of nuclear strategy, The Bomb is the best overview yet of the world’s continuing struggle to come to terms with the threat of nuclear war.”
RICHARD RHODES, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Arsenals of Folly

“In The Bomb, Fred Kaplan has delivered a timely, lively, highly readable account of how presidents from Truman to Trump have prepared for nuclear war—a history that is as deeply informed as it is utterly alarming.”
STEVE COLL, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Ghost Wars
and Directorate S

“With powerful anecdotes and a wealth of historical detail, Fred Kaplan tells the story of the men and women who found themselves both appalled and entranced by the fearful, mad logic of nuclear war from the aftermath of Hiroshima to the present day. The Bomb is a frightening but necessary read.”
ROSA BROOKS, author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything

“Fred Kaplan is the world’s preeminent Dr. Strangelove whisperer, and the Bomb is the smartest, most riveting and up-to-date history of how US leaders, military and civilian, have thought the unthinkable. The chapter on Trump and nuclear weapons is nothing less than alarming.”
TIMOTHY NAFTALI, author of George H.W. Bush and coauthor of Khrushchev’s Cold War

"The Bomb is like the Pentagon Papers for U.S. nuclear strategy. Kaplan has the insider stories of an investigative journalist, the analytic rigor of a political scientist, and longer-term perspective of a historian. Insightful and important.”
SCOTT SAGAN, professor of political science, Stanford University; Chairman, American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Committee on International Security Studies

“A detailed, incisive picture of how U.S. presidents have thought about their most troubling responsibility: pushing ‘the button’ that could end civilization…a comprehensive review… well-written, exhaustively researched”
(starred review)