PositiveThe Wall Street JournalMr. Hitchcock discusses the full range of challenges that occupied Eisenhower across the eight years of his presidency (1953-1961), from school desegregation to building the interstate highway system to presidential heart attacks. Like Eisenhower himself, however, he devotes the majority of his attention to foreign affairs ... Throughout his rich narrative, Mr. Hitchcock wrestles with the question of who gave us the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower famously warned against in his farewell address. On the evidence, a leading miscreant was Eisenhower himself, striving to protect his cherished country with overwhelming force, an artist in iron.
David N. Schwartz
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThere have been other accounts of his [phyicist Enrico Fermi's] life, yet David N. Schwartz’s new portrait, The Last Man Who Knew Everything, is the first thorough biography to be published since Fermi’s death 64 years ago in 1954 ... Schwartz, the author of NATO’s Nuclear Dilemmas, cautions that the record of Fermi’s life is thin: no personal journals, few letters, little more than the testimony of colleagues, family and friends. The biographer was forced to devote most of his effort to Fermi’s work life ... I kept wishing this biography were livelier, lit with more surprises, but Schwartz, working with limited sources, tells the story well ... Still, these are minor mistakes. All in all, Schwartz’s biography adds importantly to the literature of the utterly remarkable men and women who opened up nuclear physics to the world.
PositiveThe Washington PostI wish Zak had checked his physics more carefully; his descriptions of how nuclear weapons work are badly garbled ... These minor errors hardly weaken the authority of Zak’s report on where we are and how we got here ... With nuns splashing blood, countries making pledges, diplomats working to reduce the size of world-destroying arsenals, suppliers cheering a new Cold War, Zak demonstrates that we’re all in it together. And he’s honest enough to report as well the hard truth that none of us yet knows how to get out of it alive.