Nuking the Moon

Nuking the Moon

And Other Intelligence Schemes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board

Book - 2019
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"In Nuking the Moon, intelligence historian Vince Houghton proves that abandoned plans can be just as illuminating--and every bit as entertaining--as the ones that made it. Vividly capturing the fascinating stories of how twenty-one plans from WWII and the Cold War went from conception, planning, and testing to cancellation, Houghton explores what happens when innovation meets desperation: For every plan as good as D-Day, there's a scheme to strap bombs to bats or dig a spy tunnel underneath the Soviet embassy. Along the way, he reveals what each one tells us about twentieth-century history, the art of spycraft, military strategy, and famous figures like JFK, Castro, and Churchill. By turns terrifying and hilarious--but always riveting--this is the unique story of history left on the drawing board"--
Publisher: [New York] : Penguin Books, [2019]
ISBN: 9780525505174
Branch Call Number: 355.07 HOUGHTON
Characteristics: xvi, 302 pages ; 22 cm


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Jan 27, 2020

A good, middleweight read. The author covers outlandish government military projects that are not merely random ideas blurted out in meetings but ideas that often became working prototypes or sunk millions of dollars in funding. Examples include an air carrier made of ice, attaching bombs to bats (apologies to animal lovers), and nuking the moon as a show of force (?) where some famous scientists even calculated on the extent and visibility of a potential moon nuke.

The book has good anecdotes and a decent sense of humor but I do wish it had more background on some projects or comments on overall trends instead of just mostly disparate stories connected by loose themes.

Jul 08, 2019

The book would benefit greatly from photographs or diagrams of these bizarre devices.


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