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In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age
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In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  31 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
A landmark history of nuclear power from a veteran industry insider. Recent years have brought increased concern about nuclear proliferation and increased interest in nuclear power as a solution to the energy crisis, but few have truly come to terms with the complexities—and enormous risks—of nuclear technology. In Mortal Hands is crucial for those who wish to understand a ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA (first published April 14th 2009)
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Nina
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely essential and important book if you are interested in learning about the reality of nuclear industry, technology or business. It does not require any special technical knowledge to understand its rather comprehensive material relating to the invention, history, politics, management and secrecy around the nuclear industry. It will help you form your own opinion about nuclear proliferation, ‘peaceful’ nuclear programs and costs (mostly hidden) involved.

You will be shocked by the mismana
...more
Rebecca
Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atomic
This book covers nuclear history from the Manhattan Project through the early 2000's (This book is pre-Fukushima). The book covers the politics of the bomb and nuclear power, and how information and material was sometimes just given away to other nations. I found the information on how Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea got their bombs to be very interesting. Parts of the book are dedicated to politics, which, I must admit, made my eyes glaze over. Parts of the book focus on nuclear instill ...more
Bahman
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Fascinatng book. The author does a great job in laying out the history of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, and convincingly demonstrates that separation between the two is only semantics. She shows how difficult it is to both prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and promote nuclear energy usage around the globe. Meanwhile, the nuclear industry has worked hard to confuse the public and hide the true cost of nuclear power.

The five members of the nuclear club, who also happen to be the permane
...more
Stephen Wong
An important and meaningful work. One does not come to many generations (i.e., people kept in the dark and people seeking the light) of nuclear power and the kind of knowledge and wisdom required to possess and dispossess it without echoing Samuel Morse's first official telegraph message borrowed from the Book of Numbers 23:23. Indeed, "What hath Man wrought!" is proportionate in terseness to the dispatch with which it, the nuclear *it*, disposes of cities and futures with the frappé of radionuc ...more
Stanislav
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is a well-research and smoothly written book that highlights history, currents status, unclear future and dangers of nuclear industry. Although it relatively strongly sides with the non-nuclear part of the argument, it opens eyes and minds to disadvantages and dangers of the nuclear industry to anyone. And with the hindsight of the Fukushima disaster, and development after it, that are not covered in this book, its arguments against the use of the nuclear energy sound even stronger than int ...more
Jim
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I basically agree with the previous reviewers and would add that the book was more about weapons and proliferation and less about power than I expected. The story is a bit rambling and anecdotal, and left some questions unanswered, such as the real reason for "atoms for peace" which seems insane in retrospect.

A quote from the book sums it up: "how could an enterprise whose dangers demanded so much secrecy exist in a democracy without constantly challenging its very principles of openness and acc
...more
Mike
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
sobering look at a law of nature which does not tolerate error in the hands of humans who are all too prone to err.
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