Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons” as Want to Read:
The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The culminating volume in Richard Rhodes’s monumental and prizewinning history of nuclear weapons, offering the first comprehensive narrative of the challenges faced in a post–Cold War age.

The past twenty years have transformed our relationship with nuclear weapons drastically. With extraordinary depth of knowledge and understanding, Rhodes makes clear how the five origina
...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Twilight of the Bombs, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Twilight of the Bombs

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 311)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
James Murphy
"Nuclear weapons, never weapons of warfare except in the grandiose imaginations of air-power fantasists, have reverted to their original function: They are terror weapons. Are we terrorists?"

One of the many questions and conclusions in Richard Rhodes's The Twilight of the Bombs. Rhodes is acclaimed for his histories of the nuclear age: The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Dark Sun, and Arsenals of Folly. This 2010 study completes his history of the nuclear age with an account of events which have occu
...more
Adam Robinson
It's hard to do better than your best. This is the fourth and last book in Rhodes' study on nuclear weapons. Unfortunately nothing will ever compare to his Pulitzer prize winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which if you have not read, then stop right now and go read it. No seriously, it's that good. It's probably the best history book I've ever read.

Which is what makes this book so disappointing. To be fair, the myriad story lines Rhodes tackles in this book aren't nearly as compelling as th
...more
Ilya
The end of the Cold War did not end the history of nuclear weapons, the subject of Rhodes's earler books. There were more thrilling stories involving them. Iraq tried to build nuclear weapons; after it lost the 1990-1991 war, the victors tried to disarm it. A cat-and-mouse game between weapons inspectors and Iraqi officials followed. Aerial photographs of Iraqi facilities showed fifteen-foot-wide metal disks. No one knew what they were until a 69-year-old veteran of the Manhattan Project said th ...more
Bruce
The history of atomic weapons in the past three decades as the victorious powers of the Second World War have unsuccessfully attempted to keep other notions from developing them. He then looks at the nations who have developed them and the ones that have deliberately disarmed and either abandoned their development programs, and in one case, South Africa, which destroyed all its weapons. Finally, he makes a case for the destruction of all of them. His case is two fold. They are useless as weapons ...more
Ben
And so ends one of the best quadrilogies ever known. The final installation in Rhodes's set of books chronicling the history of nuclear weapons, this book covered (roughly) from the end of the Cold War through to about early 2010--though it really finished up with the debacle following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. As with the other three books, Rhodes's clear, engaging prose lays out the extensive research he's conducted in a coherent, easy to understand logic and manner. Especially following t ...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Merging a scientist's attention to detail with a storyteller's flair for narrative drive and characterization, Rhodes has penned "an apt conclusion to an epic undertaking" (Kansas City Star). Filled with fascinating facts and anecdotes, The Twilight of the Bombs not only provides a fresh perspective on otherwise familiar recent events but also reveals significant, little-known episodes in the struggle for nonproliferation, reading at times "like a Tom Clancy novel" (Christian Science Monitor). T ...more
Mark


Not nearly as fascinating as his other works on this topic. It seemed to me that only the last 75 pages truly dealt with the subject, to wit, "Recent challenges, new dangers, and the prospects for a world without nuclear weapons.". This book does provide a very good historical summary of the post Cold War period including extensive material on the War with Iraq and inspections leading up to the war. What is missing is similar details/depth on US policy in regard to North Korea, Iran, China and
...more
Matt Heavner
This is primarily a depressing read, but it is also hopeful (the conclusion that we will manage to get rid of all nukes). This covers the period from about the collapse of the Soviet Union through ~2010. It covers keeping all the Soviet nukes, scientist, and infrastructure under control; the IAEA and UN inspections of Iraq, a bit about North Korea, South Africa, Iran, etc. It is really critical of Bush junior. During the first ~half of the book, I felt that there was too much "non-nuke" detail, ...more
William
Rhodes level of detailed research is--as always--extraordinary and enlightening without delving down to levels of trivia that would be uninteresting to many.

The background on various nuclear weapons projects is very detailed and interesting and builds well on some of his earlier works.

The walk-away conclusions offered here I found less compelling than the rest of the book but the questions posed in this book concerning nuclear disarmament are questions that are well worth discussion and thought.
...more
Stuart
Some fascinating insights into the WMD inspections in Iraq and lead up to the occupation of Iraq and the also the part the US played in making safe of the Soviet nuclear arsenal after the break-up of the USSR. I didn't realise how Richard Rhodes actually became part of the story he was documenting when weapons inspectors recognised the machinery of the Iraqi nuclear program installation based on descriptions of early US attempts at refining Uranium that he described in "The Making of the Atomic ...more
Sandra
This didactice story of the bomb is part history and part thriller.

Filled with renegade weapons inpectors, Rhodes manages to weave a fascinating and educational final story in the trilogy of the bomb and nuclear weapons. I found it a surprisingly easy book to read filled with many unknown facts about nuclear weapons as well as the political history around nuclear weapons including the USA's invasion of Iraq under the Bush Jr. administration.
Dave Main
An excellent finale of the series. All of Rhode's books about nuclear weapons are excellent, but this one has the most meaning for our present lives. We are living with nuclear weapons that the military doesn't want, are horrendously expensive to maintain ($50B a year), and make us less secure.

The book also details how wrong things went in global negotiations during the Bush administration. Heartbreaking stupidity that caused more proliferation.
Kimbolimbo
I recommend actually reading this than listening because there are a lot of acronyms and the story doesn't progress in a linear fashion hopping around in time and country. I really wish I had a timeline to refer to while listening because I kept getting confused. But the discussion and stories about nuclear development in various countries around the world was fascinating. Especially because I am fascinated by North Korea right now.
Motorcycle
There was a lot of information I didn't know before I read it. It was interesting on one level. But I wasn't captivated by the stories in it like I am with the stuff I've read by Ron Suskind and Sebastian Junger. But I guess it's good to know. It was worth reading.
Louis C Smith
must read for nuclear literacy.
Rhodes makes it clear that the continued presence of nuclear weapons, the continued confrontation with North Korea, and the $3 trillion cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the legacy of conservative Republicans.
Noladishu
Great narrative of the early UNSCOM/IAEA efforts in Iraq. Reads almost like a thriller.

The politics and public policy part sort of bogs down the rest, but that's the way the history was.
Noah Richardson
terse explanation of post-cold war nuclear situations up 'till now (2011). a must-read.
Alain


This is fascinating book.
Rodney Ulyate
Rodney Ulyate marked it as to-read
Jan 28, 2015
Peter
Peter is currently reading it
Jan 05, 2015
Jenninka
Jenninka marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2014
Nic Mcphee
Nic Mcphee marked it as to-read
Dec 25, 2014
Aemilia Choice
Aemilia Choice marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
Jeff
Jeff marked it as to-read
Dec 21, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Power and Interdependence
  • The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics
  • Making the Future: Occupations Interventions Empire And Resistance
  • AMERICA THE VULNERABLE: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare
  • Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima
  • Communism: A History
  • The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy
  • War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History: 1500 to Today
  • The Manhattan Project: The Birth of the Atomic Bomb in the Words of Its Creators, Eyewitnesses and Historians.
  • Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State
  • The First War of Physics: The Secret History of the Atom Bomb, 1939-1949
  • The Thinking Life: How to Thrive in the Age of Distraction
  • Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR & the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II
  • War in European History
  • Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail: The 6 Enduring Principles of High Achievement
  • Brotherhood of the Bomb: The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller
  • Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World
  • The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran
10263
Richard Lee Rhodes is an American journalist, historian, and author of both fiction and non-fiction (which he prefers to call "verity"), including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986), and most recently, Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race (2007). He has been awarded grants from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation a ...more
More about Richard Rhodes...
The Making of the Atomic Bomb Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World Deadly Feasts: Tracking the Secrets of a Terrifying New Plague

Share This Book

“Twentieth Century Book of the Dead.” 0 likes
More quotes…