Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State

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9780143118688: Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State

A groundbreaking examination of how the atomic bomb profoundly altered the nature of American democracy.

Look out for a new book from Garry Wills, What the Qur'an Meant, coming fall 2017.


In Bomb Power, bestselling author Garry Wills presents a blistering critique of excessive executive power and official secrecy, drawing a direct line from the Manhattan Project to the usurpations of George W. Bush. He reveals how the atomic bomb transformed our nation down to its deepest constitutional roots-by dramatically increasing the power of the modern presidency and redefining the government as a national security state-leaving us in a state of continuous war alert for nearly seven decades. Bold and incisive, Bomb Power casts the history of the postwar period in a new light and sounds an alarm about the continued threat to our Constitution.

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About the Author:

Garry Wills is a historian and the author of the New York Times bestsellers What Jesus MeantPapal SinWhy I Am a Catholic, and Why Priests?, among others. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and other publications, Wills is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a professor emeritus at Northwestern University. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

From AudioFile:

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Garry Wills examines the augmentation of U.S. presidential power, starting with the Manhattan Project, extending into the Cold War, and reaching an apex with President George W. Bush and the War on Terror. Stephen Hoye's voice has just the right emphasis and unrushed pacing as he recounts the secrecy surrounding the development of the atomic bomb, which Truman and subsequent presidents used to assert their power. Wills focuses on the use of nuclear weaponry, the cult of the commander-in-chief, and the worldwide network of military bases used to maintain nuclear supremacy. He also covers how the various intelligence agencies aided in the development of the national security state. Hoye varies his delivery and engages his listeners in these serious topics. B.C.E. AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

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