Daniel Ellsberg
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 6:00 p.m., Mechanics' Institute Library, 57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Admission $15.00, members $10.00)

 

discussing the subject of his new book

The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner

from Bloomsbury Books

Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

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.

What has been said of The Doomsday Machine:

"The Doomsday Machine is being published at an alarmingly relevant moment, as North Korea is seeking the capability to target the United States with nuclear missiles, and an unpredictable president, Donald Trump, has countered with threats of 'fire and fury.'" –  New York Magazine

"Gripping and unnerving . . . A must-read of the highest order, Ellsberg's profoundly awakening chronicle is essential to our future." –  starred review, Booklist ("High Demand Back Story")

“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

“A groundbreaking and nightmare-inducing account of how the whole mad system works.” –  Esquire

“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

“Gripping . . . The Doomsday Machine is essential reading--both a terrifying 'Doctor Strangelove' saga and a hopeful consideration of future scenarios.” –  Mercury News

“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 whistle-blowing 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 with a God-like sense of righteous entitlement, 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 and author of THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS and the Pulitzer Prize-winner THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS,

“A fascinating and terrifying account of nuclear war planning by a consultant from the RAND Corporation at the highest levels of government in the Kennedy administration. Ellsberg tells us of the close calls with nuclear war and of the policies developed then that still threaten the planet with annihilation. I couldn't put the book down.” –  Frances FitzGerald, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of FIRE IN THE LAKE,

“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

 


Books related to this event:

Product image
The Doomsday Machine
Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
Daniel Ellsberg
2017 Edition
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.