Blue Rider Press
On Sale: July 12, 2016
Hardcover / e-Book
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ON A TRANQUIL SUMMER NIGHT in July 2012, a trio of
peace activists infiltrated the Y-12 National Security
Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nicknamed the “Fort Knox of
Uranium,” Y-12 was supposedly one of the most secure sites
in the world, a bastion of warhead parts and hundreds of
tons of highly enriched uranium—enough to power thousands of
nuclear bombs. The three activists—a house painter, a
Vietnam War veteran, and an 82-year-old Catholic
nun—penetrated the complex’s exterior with alarming ease;
their strongest tools were two pairs of bolt cutters and
three hammers. Once inside, these pacifists hung protest
banners, spray-painted biblical messages, and streaked the
walls with human blood. Then they waited to be arrested.
WITH THE BREAK-IN and their symbolic actions, the
activists hoped to draw attention to a costly
military-industrial complex that stockpiles deadly nukes.
But they also triggered a political and legal firestorm of
urgent and troubling questions. What if they had been
terrorists? Why do the United States and Russia continue to
possess enough nuclear weaponry to destroy the world several
IN ALMIGHTY, WASHINGTON POST REPORTER Dan Zak
answers these questions by reexamining America’s love-hate
relationship to the bomb, from the race to achieve atomic
power before the Nazis did to the solemn 70th anniversary of
Hiroshima. At a time of concern about proliferation in such
nations as Iran and North Korea, the U.S. arsenal is plagued
by its own security problems. This life-or-death quandary is
unraveled in Zak’s eye-opening account, with a cast that
includes the biophysicist who first educated the public on
atomic energy, the prophet who predicted the creation of Oak
Ridge, the generations of activists propelled into
resistance by their faith, and the Washington bureaucrats
and diplomats who are trying to keep the world safe. Part
historical adventure, part courtroom drama, part moral
thriller, ALMIGHTY reshapes the accepted narratives
surrounding nuclear weapons and shows that our greatest
modern-day threat remains a power we discovered long ago.
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