Almighty Courage

AlmightyOn a tranquil summer night in July 2012, a trio of peace activists infiltrated the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nicknamed the “Fort Knox of Uranium,” Y-12 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 highly-enriched uranium—enough to power thousands of nuclear bombs. The activists—a house painter, a Vietnam veteran, and an eighty-two-year-old Catholic nun—penetrated 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 spray-painted 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 break-in, the Plowshares activists had hoped to draw attention to a costly military-industrial complex that stockpiled deadly nukes and drones. But they also triggered a political, legal, and moral firestorm when they defeated a multimillion-dollar 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 love-hate 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 life-or-death quandary is unraveled in Zak’s eye-opening 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 safe.

In a searing indictment of America’s decline, former #NewYorkTimes columnist #BobHerbert profiles struggling Americans—casualties of decades of government policies that have produced underemployment, inequality, and pointless #wars—and offers a ringing call to arms to restore #justice and the #American #dream. The United States needs to be reimagined. Once described by Lincoln as the last best hope on earth, the country seemed on the verge of fulfilling its immense promise in the mid-1960s and early 1970s: unemployment was low, wages and profits were high, and the nation’s wealth—by today’s standards—was distributed in a remarkably equitable fashion. America was a society confident that it could bring a middle-class standard of living (at the very least) and the full rights of citizenship to virtually everyone. This sense of possibility has evaporated. In this book longtime New York Times columnist Bob Herbert combines devastating stories of suffering Americans with keen political analysis to show where decades of corporate greed, political apathy, and short-term thinking have led: America’s infrastructure is crumbling, our #schools fail our children, unnecessary wars maim our young men, and underemployment plagues a generation. He traces how the United States went wrong, exposing the slow, dangerous shift of political influence from the working population in the 1960s to the corporate and financial elite today, who act largely in their own self-interest. But the situation isn’t entirely hopeless. Herbert argues that by tapping the creative ideas of people across the country who are implementing solutions at the local level, the middle class can reassert its power, put the economy back on track, and usher in a new progressive era. #TowerReview.com 📲 #iPhone #audiobooks #Dallas #shooting #riots #Texas #USA #reading #education #DC #police #DallasStrong

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