Emergency War Plan: The American Doomsday Machine, 1945-1960 (Potomac Books), by Sean M. Maloney


A formidable researcher, Sean M. Maloney puts his skills to good use in his latest book. Sifting through mountains of declassified documents and open sources, his Emergency war plan reconstructs American plans for war with the USSR from Truman to Eisenhower. He finds that military planning has developed under the pressure of rapidly changing technology and changing political calculations.

Unlike his previous book, the otherwise fascinating study of atomic war films, Deconstruct Dr StrangeloveMaloney does not get lost in questionable interpretations of American policy (he described the hawkish Kennedy administration as a nest of pacifists). Here, the history professor at the Royal Military College of Canada is sticking largely to the facts – heaps of them – including startling revelations of Anglo-American penetration of Soviet airspace at the Stalin era. His conclusion is correct: American nuclear deterrence helped break Soviet expansion – and yes, he’s right, too many people on the left continued to apologize for the Soviet Union long after the apology was gone. acceptable.

David Luhrssen

David Luhrssen has taught at UWM and MIAD. He is the author of The Vietnam War on Film, Encyclopedia of Classic Rock and Hammer of the Gods: Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism.

Read more about David Luhrssen

05 Aug 2021



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