A Short History of Nuclear Folly by Rudolph Herzog

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Brimming with black humor, Herzog...explores 40 years of lesser-known disasters and near-misses resulting from the development and propagation of nuclear weapons after WWII and throughout the Cold War.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

In the spirit of Dr. Strangelove and The Atomic Café, a blackly sardonic people’s history of atomic blunders and near-misses revealing the hushed-up and forgotten episodes in which the great powers gambled with catastrophe

Rudolph Herzog, the acclaimed author of Dead Funny, presents a devastating account of history’s most irresponsible uses of nuclear technology. From the rarely-discussed nightmare of “Broken Arrows” (40 nuclear weapons lost during the Cold War) to “Operation Plowshare” (a proposal to use nuclear bombs for large engineering projects, such as a the construction of a second Panama Canal using 300 H-Bombs), Herzog focuses in on long-forgotten nuclear projects that nearly led to disaster.

In an unprecedented people’s history, Herzog digs deep into archives, interviews nuclear scientists, and collects dozens of rare photos. He explores the “accidental” drop of a Nagasaki-type bomb on a train conductor’s home, the implanting of plutonium into patients’ hearts, and the invention of wild tactical nukes, including weapons designed to kill enemy astronauts.

Told in a riveting narrative voice, Herzog—the son of filmmaker Werner Herzog—also draws on childhood memories of the final period of the Cold War in Germany, the country once seen as the nuclear battleground for NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries, and discusses evidence that Nazi scientists knew how to make atomic weaponry . . . and chose not to.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Rudolph Herzog

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Rudolph Herzog is the author of Dead Funny: Telling Jokes in Hitler's Germany. His documentary on humor in the Third Reich, Laughing With Hitler, scored top audience ratings on German Channel 1 and was also broadcast on the BBC. Other film projects include the hit reality crime series The Heist, a collaboration with David Glover that aired on Channel 4 (U.K.), and The Agent, which investigates the Stasi's top nuclear spy and a double agent for the CIA. He is the son of the celebrated filmmaker Werner Herzog.Jefferson Chase is one of the foremost translators of German history. He has translated Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Thomas Mann, and Götz Aly, among many others.
 
Published April 30, 2013 by Melville House. 256 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Computers & Technology, Education & Reference, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction
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Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 13 2013

Brimming with black humor, Herzog...explores 40 years of lesser-known disasters and near-misses resulting from the development and propagation of nuclear weapons after WWII and throughout the Cold War.

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