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Whole World on Fire

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Whole World on Fire focuses on a technical riddle wrapped in an organizational mystery: How and why, for more than half a century, did the U.S. government fail to predict nuclear fire damage as it drew up plans to fight strategic nuclear war?U.S. bombing in World War II caused massive fire damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but later war plans took account only of damage fr ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 30th 2006 by Cornell University Press (first published November 21st 2003)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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Victor Gonzalez
May 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
We can only imagine the damage that a nuclear weapon can cause, we can read articles and hear news about it but we not fully understand all the effects of a nuclear weapon. We are not scientist and we are not military so it is ok for us not to understand completely the damage that it cause We believe that the military and the scientist involved in that area (that study the effects, that design the weapons, etc.) know.

In the book ‘Whole World on Fire’, Lynn Eden shows how the US government undere
Nate Hendrix
Nov 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
I think this might be meant as a textbook. Very dry. I read a little, skimmed even more and then gave up.
Oct 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The rapid scale-up of thermal radiation has strong implications for damage prediction. Because thermal radiation increases more rapidly than does blast overpressure, in higher-yield weapons mass fire ignition and resulting damage would occur to a distance beyond that of significant blast damage. For nuclear weapons of approximately 100 kilotons or more, fire damage would occur far beyond the perimeter of the blast damage; blast damage would be engulfed by the effects of mass fire.

However, the d
Eric B. Kennedy
Useful examination of institutional knowledge systems, and particularly the self-reinforcing way certain topics can gain traction at the exclusion of others. Read in the context of wildland fire, it tells a very peculiar side of the story (e.g., not surprising that wildland foresters weren't terribly interested in modelling Eden's pet topic, nuclear firestorms, given they were mostly interested in different kinds of fires), but one that will be of interest to nuclear weapons buffs. ...more
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book pointed out an egregious shortfall in planning outcomes of nuclear attacks - the fires created and the additional damage they would cause. US planners ignored the phenomenon for many, many years and as a long time member of the fire service, this was an incredible discovery!
Thomas Gray
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May 30, 2012
Laura P
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Jan 12, 2008
Helena of Eretz ✰
rated it it was ok
Aug 19, 2020
Nov 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nuclear-weapons
Mass fire has its own weather pattern. Lynn Eden writes beautifully about nuclear devastation.
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