Here is the culminating volume in Richard Rhodes’s monumental and prizewinning history of nuclear weapons, offering the first comprehensive narrative of the challenges faced in a post-Cold War age.
The past 20 years have transformed our relationship with nuclear weapons drastically. With extraordinary depth of knowledge and understanding, Rhodes makes clear how the five original nuclear powers—Russia, Great Britain, France, China, and especially the United States—have struggled with new realities. He shows us how the stage was set for a second tragic war when Iraq secretly destroyed it's nuclear infrastructure and reveals the real reasons George W. Bush chose to fight a second war in Iraq. We see how the efforts of U.S. weapons labs laid the groundwork for nuclear consolidation in the former Soviet Union, how and why South Africa secretly built and then destroyed a small nuclear arsenal, and how Jimmy Carter’s private diplomacy prevented another Korean War.
We also see how the present day represents a nuclear turning point and what hope exists for our future. Rhodes assesses the emerging threat of nuclear terrorism and offers advice on how our complicated relationships with North Korea and South Asia should evolve. Finally, he imagines what a post-nuclear world might look like, suggesting what might make it possible.
Powerful and persuasive, The Twilight of the Bombs is an essential work of contemporary history.
“Absorbing . . . Rhodes makes the technical issues lucid and accessible, and the tale also has intrigue and suspense, heroes (Jimmy Carter) and villains (the Bush administration). It’s a story of deceit, corrupt politics, and diplomatic half-measures, but also of improbable outbreaks of common sense and far-sightedness....Rhodes shows us the heartening spectacle of humanity slowly turning away from the abyss.” (
“Since the publication of The Making of the Atomic Bomb...Rhodes has owned the story of nuclear weapons.... [ The Twilight of the Bombs is] a skillful assessment of the transformation of nuclear weapons from the so-called guardians of our security during the Cold War to the burden and catastrophic threat they pose today....Informed and eloquent.” ( Kirkus)
“Impassioned....Rhodes’ formidable nuclear knowledge, readably presented, will convey his moral opposition to nuclear deterrence to a sizable audience.” ( Booklist)
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