Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security Stateby Garry Wills
In Bomb Power, Garry Wills 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 - in ways still felt today. A masterful reckoning from one of America's pre-eminent historians, Bomb Power draws a direct… See more details below
In Bomb Power, Garry Wills 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 - in ways still felt today. A masterful reckoning from one of America's pre-eminent historians, Bomb Power draws a direct line from the Manhattan Project to the usurpations of George W. Bush.
-Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review
"A powerful-and sobering-account of the step-by-step creation of government structures, unaccountable to Congress or the people, to conduct 'permanent war in peace.''"
-The Boston Globe
"Bomb Power is pungent, confident, fluid, steeped in learning."
"Written in Wills' characteristically accessible style, Bomb Power is a well-argued denunciation of our constitutional gatekeepers that is as sad and fascinating as an account of the decline of the Roman republic. ... [Wills's] credentials as a historian are impeccable. His breadth of knowledge is awe inspiring, but he never goes over the reader's head: He is a scholar with the heart of a journalist."
-The Miami Herald
"Deeply thought-provoking... A prolific author of astonishing range, Wills...offers a forceful indictment of the 43rd president, and even more of his vice president, Dick Cheney."
-The San Francisco Chronicle
-The Los Angeles Times
"As usual with Wills, provocatively argued and elegantly written."
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 - 17 Years
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Meet the Author
Garry Wills is one of the most respected writers on religion today. He is the author of Saint Augustine’s Childhood, Saint Augustine’s Memory, and Saint Augustine’s Sin, the first three volumes in this series, as well as the Penguin Lives biography Saint Augustine. His other books include “Negro President”: Jefferson and the Slave Power, Why I Am a Catholic, Papal Sin, and Lincoln at Gettysburg, which won the Pulitzer Prize.
- Date of Birth:
- May 22, 1934
- Place of Birth:
- Atlanta, GA
- St. Louis University, B.A., 1957; Xavier University, M.A., 1958; Yale University, Ph.D., 1961
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Concise, well researched and hard-hitting, Wills' "Bomb Power" is an engaging read from start to finish. Though the book takes aim at an oft-written about time and subject - the post-war presidency and the nuclear age - it manages to find an (to my knowledge) original thesis; the executive secrecy which gave birth to the atom bomb, and the grant of sole custody of its product and that product's heirs to the president, launched an Article II power grab that culminated in the disastrous George W. Bush presidency. Wills takes no prisoners from the post-war presidential roster roasting Kennedy and Reagan alike. While the construction flirts with redundancy in the books final chapters, it's well worth it. Writing for the February 2010 issue of Harpers, editor Roger Hodge wishes Wills didn't let up on the young Obama presidency as he seems to do, but I got the impression that he is willing to simply add chapters as the information comes in. For Wills the dye was cast at Los Alamos and its up to the other two branches of our government to reclaim the powers ceded to the executive over the past 60-years. The president, be he actor, farmer, statesman or professor, in Wills' account seems capable of acting, but incapable of acting differently.
As it should be. More about executive power than the bomb but good read nonetheless.