Twenty miles south of Tucson, Arizona a sobering relic of the past allows visitors to travel through time to stand on the front line of the Cold War, a time when mankind stood on the very brink of destruction.
The mechanical and material evidence, combined with the nuclear and chemical evidence, forced them to believe that the central control rod had been withdrawn very rapidly. […] The scientists questioned the [former operators of SL-1]: “Did you know that the reactor would go critical if the central control rod were removed?” Answer: “Of course! We often talked about what we would do if we were at a radar station and the Russians came. We’d yank it out.”
Possibly the scariest book you'll ever read, a detailed look at the Soviet weapons programs in particular biological and chemical, and how close the world came to WWIII in the late 70s and early 80s.
Very compelling narrative of the Bay of Pigs. Overshadowed by the missile crisis, BoP was the ignition point of many other things (including Vietnam and all future relations with Cuba) so hugely important to know about.
I guess this isn't cold war but it was so good and set in the same era (1960s and early 70s), it's more than a story of two people but the beginnings of the modern era of terrorism on airplanes, which turns out to be pretty funny in comparison to the post-911 era. Very entertaining and fascinating read.
The authors calculate that some 125,000 nuclear warheads have been built since 1945, about 97 percent of them by the United States and the Soviet Union and Russia. The nine nations with nuclear weapons now possess more than 10,000 nuclear warheads in their military stockpiles, the authors estimate, with several thousand additional US and Russian retired warheads in storage, awaiting dismantlement. The nuclear stockpiles of China, as well as Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea, are minuscule in comparison with the US and Russian arsenals, but more difficult to estimate. Still, the authors believe that China’s nuclear weapons stockpile has surpassed Great Britain’s. Although the total number of nuclear warheads in the world is decreasing because of US and Russian reductions, all the nations with nuclear weapons continue to modernize or upgrade their nuclear arsenals.
Petrov has said he does not regard himself as a hero for what he did that day. In an interview for the documentary film The Red Button and the Man Who Saved the World, Petrov says, "All that happened didn't matter to me — it was my job. I was simply doing my job, and I was the right person at the right time, that's all. My late wife for 10 years knew nothing about it. 'So what did you do?' she asked me. 'I did nothing.'"
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