The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal & American Foreign Policy

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hersh's investigation into Israel's nuclear capabilities sparked a series of controversies when it appeared in hardcover, and spent three weeks on PW 's bestseller list. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Ever since the early 1950s, Israel has had one military eye firmly fixed on atomic weapons as a means of salvation, using them primarily as a military threat for both offensive and defensive purposes. Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize winner, expounds on the steady but quiet growth of an Israeli nuclear industry that proved so successful that Israel was able to coerce several U.S. administrations into doing its bidding. He also explores in depth Israeli access to U.S. intelligence satellite technologies that resulted from inattention by Washington leaders as well as from the four years of insider spying by Jonathan Jay Pollard. He reveals that the Soviet Union has been targeted by Israeli nuclear warheads since the mid-1980s. Unlike several other recent expos es of Israeli intelligence apparatus (Ian Black and Benny Morris's Israel's Secret Wars , LJ 8/91, and Andrew and Leslie Cockburn's Dangerous Liaison , LJ 6/15/91), Hersh follows the threads of a specific intelligence focus while highlighting U.S. policies that ultimately ignore the very real presence of the Israeli nuclear arsenal. This incredibly well-written book should be in every collection.-- David Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679743316
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/15/1992
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2003

    Great Detective Work!

    As is necessary for a subject as shrouded in secrecy, the author must do a considerable amount of detective work in order to arrive at a deep understanding. 'The Samson Option' is exemplary in this style of book. Written like a detective story and with not a page lacking suspense, this book rivals any of the best Sherlock Holmes or the best modern-day thrillers. Yet, this is no fiction! It is apparent from the thorough notes that the author hasn't spared an ounce of meticulous research about such an important topic as nuclear weaponry. In it we learn about espionage tales, about cold war alliances, and about nuclear blackmail. Does Israel have nuclear weapons? If so how did they obtain them? What is the United States position on this, and why does it matter? Who funded the Israeli bomb? 'The Samson Option' answers all these questions and many more, but in the process generates many more questions and mysteries that remain to be solved. Truly thought-provoking and enjoyable reading!

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