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At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War


At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“The Cold War . . . was a fight to the death,” notes Thomas C. Reed, “fought with bayonets, napalm, and high-tech weaponry of every sort—save one. It was not fought with nuclear weapons.” With global powers now engaged in cataclysmic encounters, there is no more important time for this essential, epic account of the past half century, the tense years when the world trembled At the Abyss. Written by an author who rose from military officer to administration insider, this is a vivid, unvarnished view of Americas fight against Communism, from the end of WWII to the closing of the Strategic Air Command, a work as full of human interest as history, rich characters as bloody conflict.

Among the unforgettable figures who devised weaponry, dictated policy, or deviously spied and subverted: Whittaker Chambers—the translator whose book, Witness, started the hunt for bigger game: Communists in our government; Lavrenti Beria—the head of the Soviet nuclear weapons program who apparently killed Joseph Stalin; Col. Ed Hall—the leader of Americas advanced missile system, whose own brother was a Soviet spy; Adm. James Stockwell—the prisoner of war and eventual vice presidential candidate who kept his terrible secret from the Vietnamese for eight long years; Nancy Reagan—the “Queen of Hearts,” who was both loving wife and instigator of palace intrigue in her husbands White House.

From Eisenhowers decision to beat the Russians at their own game, to the “Missile Gap” of the Kennedy Era, to Reagans vow to “lean on the Soviets until they go broke”—all the pivotal events of the period are portrayed in new and stunning detail with information only someone on the front lines and in backrooms could know.

Yet At the Abyss is more than a riveting and comprehensive recounting. It is a cautionary tale for our time, a revelation of how, “those years . . . came to be known as the Cold War, not World War III.”

From the Hardcover edition.



About the Author

Thomas C. Reed is a former Secretary of the Air Force. He has been Director of National Reconnaissance, a Special Assistant to President Reagan for National Security Policy, and a consultant to the Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where much of the countrys nuclear weapons research takes place. He lives in northern California.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Bush, George
Presidio Press
Introduction by:
Bush, George
Bush, George
Reed, Thomas
Thomas C. Reed
Military - Nuclear Warfare
Military - Other
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
US History - 20th Century
Cold War -- History.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.20x5.54x.84 in. .69 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Weapons » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » 20th Century
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present

At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War New Trade Paper
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Product details 400 pages Presidio Press - English 9780891418375 Reviews:
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