Synopses & Reviews
“Younger has provided an insightful guide, especially for the general reader, into todays array of nuclear powers and their capabilities.”
—James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Energy, former
Director of Central Intelligence
In The Bomb, Stephen Younger, former Los Alamos weapons designer and author of Endangered Species, provides a new history of the making of nuclear policy and the creation of the most terrible weapons humankind has ever possessed. In an era when rogue nations like North Korean and Iran strive to create their own precarious weapons programs, Youngers The Bomb provides much-needed background and insight for students, policy makers, and readers who wish to better understand the important issues involving nuclear weapons and national security.
From his years at Los Alamos and the Nevada Test Site to his meetings with nuclear arms experts in Moscow, former weapons designer Stephen M. Younger has witnessed firsthand the making of nuclear policy. With a deep understanding of both the technology and the politics behind nuclear weapons, he guides us from the Manhattan Project to the Cold War and into the present day, illuminating how nuclear weapons fit into our globalized, war-plagued world. Does the United States genuinely need a massive stockpile in an era of precision bombs and missile defense? Under what circumstances might we need nuclear weapons in the future? How does the proliferation of weapons in the hands of other nations affect our own nuclear policy?
With startling clarity, Younger reveals how weapons work, the myths and realities of what happens after a nuclear explosion, and how our nuclear policy evolved to what it is today. The Bomb is a compelling call to debate, and to action, that no one can afford to ignore.
A former nuclear weapons designer and head of nuclear weapons research at Los Alamos, Stephen M. Younger delivers an insightful and urgent inquisition on the role of nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century. Does the United States need a massive atomic arsenal in an era of precision bombs and missile defense? Under what circumstances might we use nuclear weapons? And how does the proliferation of nuclear weapons by North Korea and Iran affect America's nuclear policy? With his deep understanding of the technology and politics of nuclear arms, Younger challenges us to join a new debate on the future of the ultimate weapon.
About the Author
Stephen M. Younger is a senior policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He recently retired as a senior fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he was in charge of nuclear weapons research and development. From 2001 to 2004, he was director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at the U.S. Department of Defense. He lives in Las Vegas.