Virtual Event: The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event

SSP Wednesday seminar with speaker Fred Kaplan.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and SSP alumni Fred Kaplan discusses his book, which takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “Tank,” and the vast chambers of Strategic Command in Omaha to reveal the untold stories—based on exclusive interviews and previously classified documents—of how American presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached, and, in some cases, barely avoided nuclear war, from the dawn of the atomic age until now.

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Events By Interest


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School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS)


Center for International Studies


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John Ward

John Ward left a review Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Very much a left-wing activist perspective on the history of nuclear weapons and a bit too gossipy for my tastes. At the Institute I took a course on American in the Nuclear Age co-taught by Phillip Morrison and George Rathjens, and I had kind of hoped that this would be similar. Instead, it was just an hour of "Republican administrations and the Pentagon brass have been trying to goad us into nuclear war for the past 75 years, and Democrat administrations don't do enough to counter it." I'll pass on this sort of event next time.

Tom Neal

Tom Neal left a positive review Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Wow, was this interesting! Lived through the era but had no idea of the big picture, and specific, seminal events that shaped it. The book sounds fascinating.

Marco DiCapua

Marco DiCapua left a positive review Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Video was good, connection was good.

Anecdotal, oral history remarks reinforced the notion that besides deterrence, limited nuclear war, escalation, and mutually assured destruction, while they may look good on war plans, are terra incognita that no leader in his right mind may wish to step into.

Mark Keough

Mark Keough left a review Tuesday, September 15, 2020

weak presentation -- poorly organized. Zig-zagging. Clearly knowledgeable, but barely touched on early policy thinking of the 1950s. Had troouble really developing a narritive that made sense. I would have expected a more crisp approach. Knowledge is not enough to impress, need to structure that knowledge