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A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 14 of 13 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Bernard Schriever and Dwight E. Eisenhower, unknown and known leaders with essential contributions to the nation.

    Neil Sheehan writes a marvelous history of the Cold War through the prism of Air Force General Bernard Schriever's unknown but utterly essential career. As Sheehan shines a light on this previously little known Air Force officer and his astounding contributions, he sets this person's efforts in the context of the US-Soviet Union Cold War. Sheehan depicts these nations as gigantic mastadons flailing at each other in joint incomprehension, both afflicted with bluster, fear, and ignorance. As Sheehan lays out the path to the ICBM, one is struck by the incredible application of brain power and resources used in developing this engineering marvel. One is also struck by the lack of a similar intelligence effort against the Soviet Union as the US raced against the Soviets to develop the first operational ICBM. The answer to that failure is not answered, but suggested by the financial rewards this national effort made possible to the emerging military-industrial complex. The rewards were for building a rocket, not for seeing if the opposition was truly as dangerous as he was made out to be. President Eisenhower emerges as a hero of the Republic, with his unique combination of military experience and profound scepticism of the emergening military-industrial complex. By the end of the book, the reader admires Schreiver for getting the US to the goal of an ICBM, and Eisenhower for understanding the potential costs of that goal. In this book, Sheehan has crafted a compelling account of post-WW II America as it accepts world leadership, and the individual qualities of two men whose contributions were crucial for us to reach the world we live in today.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    Interesting...But

    I read the book through since is a recap of some of the USA missile development history from a USA Air Force point of view. Schriever, the main character, gets lost in the read. Sure, buy the book and read it and you will get a good history of the USA Air Force Missile Command but do not expect an intriguing biography of General Schriever.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

    Definitive Book for About Nuclear Missle History and Development by a master writer.

    Neil Sheehan does it again -- like his award winning "Bright Shining Lie" -- the definitive book about the Vietnam War -- "A Fiery Peace" is the definitive book about the history and development of the nuclear missle arsenals during the cold war. Neil Sheehan has to rank at the top amongst investigative-reporters and writers in the field of journalisim.
    The audio book is a must for anyone wanting to understand the present day world of mutual assured destruction posed by nuclear missles and the prolifieration of nuclear weaponry.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    A Challenging Read

    After quite some time I'm still struggling to get through this book. I purchased this because I had very much enjoyed Sheehan's earlier book, A Bright Shining Lie", which I thought very interesting and readable.
    For me, "A Fiery Peace in a Cold War" is much slower.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended to gain insight into how and why we evolved an extensive nuclear missile system

    The story, over 30 years, of how the U.S. nuclear missile program was developed is laid out in this book. Using some recently available materials from the former U.S.S.R., some insight is provided on what the Soviet's were thinking as we proceeded down this path in the U.S.

    The book is a good read but I would have liked more depth on the technological elements in coordination with the political story.

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