This review was originally posted on Goodreads…
The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I very rarely give 5-star reviews to books. However, just in the past few weeks, I’ve done just that to two related books; this one by Ellberg, and the previous one being Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control, which is also reviewed on this blog.
This book that I’m reviewing here should be required reading for everyone, not just citizens of the U.S. It should be required in schools, for citizenship, maybe even to get a damned driver’s license. I’m not kidding here.
I’m over 50, so not much surprises me these days. I’ve had my suspicions for decades about the topics of the two above mentioned books. I’ve even read many other books in the same vein. One in particular that you should also peruse if you have the opportunity is American Ground Zero by Carole Gallagher.
The difference with Mr. Ellsberg’s book is that it is one of the few written by a true insider; a man who was there, who participated, who created plans and scenarios that are actually still in use to this day. Visit Ellsberg’s website also. There you’ll find interesting information that relates to the topics from the book.
I cannot express upon you the importance of taking a few hours away from your busy day spent posting inane drivel on Facebook or Twitter and READ THIS BOOK! It’s that importance. The general public probably has no idea of the awesome and critically important subject that this man is writing about. Your life, the lives of your children, and most everyone else on this planet depends on making changes to our current world situation.
I’ve been known to kid around a bit in my reviews. This is not one of those times. There is NOTHING humorous about what Daniel Ellsberg is trying to warn us about in this book. NOTHING!
Sadly, my over-50 cynicism will not allow me to have many hopes that this will all turn out wonderfully warm and happy. There’s a relatively decent chance that it will turn out REALLY HOT, and eventually, REALLY COLD AND DEAD. I still have a little faith and hope in the human race, though… a little.
I’ll close this review the same way Ellsberg closed out his book…
with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King:
We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world — a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter — but beautiful — struggle for a new world.
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