AUTHORO'Keefe, Bernard J.
TITLENuclear Hostages
PUBLISHERHoughton Mifflin Company
CITYBoston, MA
DATE PUBLISHED1983
ISBN0-395-34072-1


This book is a personal narrative of one man’s experience in the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons and a call for peace. O’Keefe worked on arming devices for the bomb during the Manhattan Project. After the war, O’Keefe had the responsibility of measuring the yields of America’s atomic and nuclear tests, including the 1954 Bikini test and many tests in Nevada. Written in 1983, the book questions the possibility of a limited nuclear exchange. O’Keefe calls for a new dialogue with the Soviet Union to ensure peace. The text does not lend any profound new insights into the Manhattan Project or the development of hydrogen weapons. It does, however, reflect the unique culture of America’s Cold War nuclear community and the paranoia that accompanied the tests. For example, O’Keefe recalls a Nevada test where the elevator of the test tower had to be disassembled and moved after the placement of the bomb for fear of Russians who might infiltrate the site and carry the bomb off into the mountains.


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