The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy
On Sale: September 22, 2009
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This riveting narrative history of the end of the arms race
sheds new light on the frightening last chapters of the Cold
War and the legacy of the nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons that remain a threat today.
During the Cold War, world superpowers amassed nuclear
arsenals containing the explosive power of one million
Hiroshimas. The Soviet Union secretly plotted to create the
“Dead Hand,” a system designed to launch an automatic
retaliatory nuclear strike on the United States, and
developed a fearsome biological warfare machine. President
Ronald Reagan, hoping to awe the Soviets into submission,
pushed hard for the creation of space-based missile defenses.
In the first full account of how the arms race finally
ended, The Dead Hand provides an unprecedented look at the
inner motives and secret decisions of each side. Drawing on
top-secret documents from deep inside the Kremlin, memoirs,
and interviews in both Russia and the United States, David
Hoffman introduces the scientists, soldiers, diplomats, and
spies who saw the world sliding toward disaster and tells
the gripping story of how Reagan, Gorbachev, and many others
struggled to bring the madness to an end. When the Soviet
Union dissolved, the danger continued, and the United States
began a race against time to keep nuclear and biological
weapons out of the hands of terrorists and and rogue states.
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