!Download Book ☺ Almighty ⚑ On a tranquil summer night in July , a trio of peace activists infiltrated the Y National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee Nicknamed the Fort Knox of Uranium, Y was reputedly one of the most secure nuclear weapons facilities in the world, a bastion of warhead parts that harbored hundreds of metric tons of highlyenriched uraniumenough to power thousands of nuclear bombs The activistsa house painter, a Vietnam veteran, and an eightytwoyearold Catholic nunpenetrated the complex's exterior with alarming ease; their strongest tools were two pairs of bolt cutters and three hammers Once inside, the pacifists hung freshly spraypainted protest banners and streaked the complex's white walls with six baby bottles' worth of human blood Then they waited to be arrested With the symbolic breakin, the Plowshares activists had hoped to draw attention to a costly militaryindustrial complex that stockpiled deadly nukes and drones But they also triggered a political, legal, and moral firestorm when they defeated a multimilliondollar security system What if they had been terrorists with a deadly motive? Why does the United States continue to possess such large amounts of nuclear weaponry in the first place? And above all, are we safe? In Almighty, Washington Post reporter Dan Zak explores these questions by reexamining America's lovehate relationship with the bomb, from the race to achieve atomic power before the Nazis did to the solemn seventieth anniversary of Hiroshima At a time of concern about proliferation in such nations as Iran and North Korea, the US arsenal is plagued by its own security problems This lifeordeath quandary is unraveled in Zak's eyeopening account, with a cast that includes the biophysicist who first educated the public on atomic energy, the prophet who predicted the creation of Oak Ridge, the generations of activists propelled into resistance by their faith, and the Washington bureaucrats and diplomats who are trying to keep the world safePart historical adventure, part courtroom drama, part moral thriller, Almighty reshapes the accepted narratives surrounding nuclear weapons and shows that our greatest modernday threat remains a power we discovered long ago
Although I wouldn't consider anything a spoiler to anyone with access to Wikipedia, I will defer to the reader's judgement of whether this contains spoilers.The book is meticulously researched, with an appendix of footnotes (although not with footnotes for each reference) and the author identifies with the subjects of the book, while attempting an even handed analysis The book is thoughtful and leaves much to the reader, and in so doing takes the potential of sermon into abalanced reading.The author's coverage of the break in at Y12 is the core of the book, and even as the other pieces, the bombings of the weapons yielded from the site and the testing thereafter in the Marshall islands, Y12 has a weight of perhaps 2/3 to the book The author is skillful at blending in the depth of the religious devotion of the protestors, and yet is respectful of those who have other beliefs I'm less impressed with the guilt of the protestor at the guard who lost his job and now subsists on farmeager pay and a debilitating illness; guilt is not a balm on its own, it is intended to direct you to a solution, to something better On occasion I thought it a weakness in the book, that the author has an identification with the protestors that occasionally bleeds through the narrative However this identification does provide the reader with interpretation of underlying justifications that the protestors do not provide on their own, and in at least one case in the trial do harm their own case; moral absolutism in one protestor's case cannot have helped his case in the view of the jury.The author having taken the time (and cost, given the remoteness) to travel to therecent test sites in the Marshall Islands is to his and the book's credit It does feel almost disconnected, given the deep focus on the protesters at Y12, but he is deft in weaving it into the story even of the protestors do not make the link themselves It is interesting that he doesn't bring up the French tests in the 1990s, that led to massive economic boycotts of France, but with the overwhelming American domestic focus would perhaps be out of the scope That the UK's own sharing of location and cooperation with all these tests (having a limited option list to test its own weapons the UK shared location and data from all of the tests performed in the US) goes unmentioned is an oversight that ispuzzling.The author delves into the fraught and often impossibility of serving two masters as DOE and the government attempts with contractors The points of legislation and pork are not skipped over and the sausage making involved do not escape his notice.Given that this is clearly a a labor of love by the author I amrestrained in my critique than some of the residents of Japan to some of the oddities in the book The bombing of Hiroshima recognizes only the presence of Japanese citizens, even though a quarter of those who died were Korean, most of whom who were slave labourers, and whose lack of integration into modern Japan remains a recognized injustice by most except the Japanese far right This is easily remedied in any following printing, and I hope it will be.I look forward tofrom this author. The fact that we live recklessly with weapons that can end the human race in one lazy afternoon is obscene The fact that we have set a horrendous precedent by using these weapons on cities at the end of WWII is obscene The fact that most of the public is mostly oblivious to the peril most of the time is obscene We need people out there bringing a focus to this horror However the portrayal of mostly Leftish Catholic peace protestors is cartoonish They come off as weird fanatics and goofy holy rolling peaceniks I went to a Catholic college and spent time with the kind of people the author describes and they were not the flaky religious nuts I see in this book It is one thing to write about committed people who care deeply about the survivability of the human project but they are they are not 2 dimensional martyrs of a hagiography These committed people deserve better than caricature. This book is expertly written and tells a powerful, riveting story that every American should read It was meticulously researched and the author writes with insight and passion Highly recommended! I was given a chance to read an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review This book was very informative regarding almost everything to do with nuclear warheads since World War II While I agree that we need to reduce the amount of nuclear weapons and the book was fact based, I didn't like that nearly everyone portrayed in activism against nuclear power was religious Change needs to be enacted at a policy level, not by crossing boundary lines and painting messages in blood I see fanatics on a crusade to enforce God's will Going forward these activists should think about learning law so they can make real change Some laws are meant to be broken, yes, but stepping across a line and going to jail for a few hours or a few years doesn't change anything. In 2012 three senior citizens broke into the foremost maker of enriched uranium in the United States Broke in is really taking it too far They kind of just walked in, painted some messages in blood, then waited to get arrested And oh, one of them was a nun I really didn't need a reminder that we are always seconds away from being obliterated but this book is that reminder There are still 17,000 nuclear weapons on the planet And they are all many many timespowerful than the bombs dropped on Japan Almighty is about that, the continuing protests against those weapons and the machine that keeps the nuclear bomb industry going I would actually like to attend some of the pro nuke conferences At Nukefest they have a coffee drinks called GO BALLISTIC and THERMONUCLEARdelicious Obama got his Nobel Peace prize for a speech he made to rid the earth of these bombs But instead as he leaves office we are spending untold amounts to modernize the bombs and facilities to keep them at the ready through 2080 There are often comments that he should give his Peace Prize back I don't think he will Everyone should read this book to remind them of what we all forget about One of the things they talk about after Hiroshima is the survivors who walked around holding their own eyeballs in their hands because their eyeballs where blown out of their heads That will make your next weekend in NY or DC somewhat less fun. Statement of Disclosure: I was the author’s English teacher in both the eleventh and twelfth grades He was brilliant then, and he’s only gotten better with age and experience.I knew Dan was working on this book, and when the copy I’d ordered arrived in the mail, it had been a long, hot day of running errands, but with hungry cat twining themselves around my ankles and groceries melting on the counter, I nevertheless had to open the package and read the first paragraph…Three pages later, I was completely enthralled, cats, groceries, and all forgotten in the desire to just keep reading.Zak’s breadth of knowledge on the subject of the no nukes movement is matched only by his exceptional humanity in conveying the little details of the three lives around whom the book is centered It is easy enough to portray an octogenarian nun, a Vietnam War veteran, and a homeless man in a sympathetic light, but it might be easier still to wander into bathos or to paint within the lines of stereotypes of Catholic Christian activists It might also be easy to paint the militaryindustrial complex and the US government as villainously complicit in perpetuating the engines of annihilation.Dan Zak does not take the easy road in either—or any—case.This is a meticulously detailed, compassionate, human, and humane portrayal of a literal lifeordeath struggle, but Zak maintains rigorous balance in giving the devil his or her due In other words, anyone can say, obviously, that nuclear weapons are bad, but that is a facile and simplistic statement that deserves the careful, thoughtful unpacking that Zak gives it.For as careful and thoughtful as Zak is, and for as often as he strives to bring to light the myriad complexities of the nuclear proliferation issue, his clever, clean prose often betrays his own humanity, his sense of the moral issues with which he challenges the reader to wrestle There are word choices that made me snort, chuckle, and cackle in an Iseewhatyoudidthere fashion And, for as often as I was horrified by the relentless facts Zak is unflinching in laying out for the reader, I was also pleasantly surprised by both his turn of phrase and the minutiae of character and local color, for example, that those turns of phrase revealed.I learned an enormous amount of terrifying, morally outrageous information in Zak’s book, and I also both laughed out loud and criedthan once Whatcan a person ask for in a nonfiction book about the end of the world as we know it?N.B.: This book came out in 2016 I began reading it at once, set it aside for the start of the new school year, and resumed it after the 2016 election Soon enough, real life as it was happening was too infuriating for me to add yetinfuriation to my daily dose of depression, so I set the book aside waiting for happier days Those days have not yet arrived, but as I assigned Dan’s book as a choice for my senior students’ summer reading, I figured I should finish it I’m glad that I did, but it was no easier to carry this additional, horrifying burden of knowledge now than it was in December 2016. I admit it The only reason I even picked this book up is because Dan Zak tweeted something once (I can't even recall what it was) that made me think, Wow That was a really good tweet I wonder what this guy does for a living As it turns out, he reports and writes for a living for my newspaper And then I learned that there was a whole book of his reporting and writing on a subject about which I know very little, and I decided I needed to read it.It's not just illuminating and thorough; it's actually good Zak treats the topic with the sobriety it deserves, and profiles the protesters and the morality behind their actions without either lionizing or patronizing them and their faith, which is an easy trap to fall into this day and age, but Zak neatly avoids I actually found myself distressed many times when having to face facts regarding the United States' complicity in forestalling disarmament It's an uncomfortable truth, but one that isn't glossed over I also appreciated how farreaching the book is, not only discussing the protesters, their actions, and the fallout (ugh, apropos?), but also the history, science, and aftereffects of nuclear weapons development.Read Dan Zak's tweets, but also read his WaPo articles, and read this book. What a tremendous book I read it because I enjoy Dan Zak's work in the Washington Post, certainly including the article that the book is based on The narrative thread is compelling and fascinating For such a complex topic, this book is surprisingly easy to read The personal stories are so interesting and you'll feel smarter after you read it Highly recommend! The book started out kind of slow for me and I wasn't sure I was going to like it I don't like nuclear weapons but I mean, who would? Come to find out a lot of people like nuclear weapons and they spend a lot of time and money to protect those weapons from the American public.Each chapter is broke down into three parts usually There is the basic story line, then there is a brief biographical sketch of one the characters in the story, and then there is the policy planning going on in Washington D.C (the boring part, at first) The story is about an 82 year old Catholic sister, a 62 year old Vietnam veteran, and a 57 year old house painter who broke into a nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, TN They did a small amount of damage with spray paint, blood, and a hammer They were arrested and tried.I ended up really liking this book I still don't like nuclear weapons and now would like them to go away but have no idea how to achieve that Although my alternate plan is to give every nation on earth a nuclear warhead of the same strength and then wait.