This is a political history of nuclear weapons from the discovery of fission in 1938 to the nuclear train wreck that seems to loom in our future. It is an account of where those weapons came from, how the technology surprisingly and covertly spread, and who is likely to acquire those weapons next and most importantly why. The authors' examination of post Cold War national and geopolitical issues regarding nuclear proliferation and the effects of Chinese sponsorship of the Pakistani program is eye opening. The reckless "nuclear weapons programs for sale" exporting of technology by Pakistan is truly chilling, as is the on again off again North Korean nuclear weapons program.
Thomas C. Reed is a former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Secretary of the Air Force under Ford and Carter, and Special Assistant to President Reagan for National Security Policy. Reed's previous book is At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War. He resides in northern California. Danny B. Stillman is a Los Alamos physicist with decades of experience in nuclear design, diagnostics, and testing. For thirteen years Stillman directed the Los Alamos Technical Intelligence Division; at the end of that tour, he was awarded the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion. He lives in White Rock, New Mexico.