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The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor | [William Langewiesche]

The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor

In his shocking and revelatory new work, celebrated journalist William Langewiesche investigates the burgeoning threat of nuclear-weapons production and the inexorable drift of nuclear-weapons technology from the hands of the rich into the hands of the poor. As more unstable and undeveloped nations acquire the ultimate arms, the stakes of state-sponsored nuclear activity have soared to frightening heights. Even more disturbing is the likelihood of such weapons being used by guerrilla non-state terrorists.
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Publisher's Summary

In his shocking and revelatory new work, celebrated journalist William Langewiesche investigates the burgeoning threat of nuclear-weapons production and the inexorable drift of nuclear-weapons technology from the hands of the rich into the hands of the poor. As more unstable and undeveloped nations acquire the ultimate arms, the stakes of state-sponsored nuclear activity have soared to frightening heights. Even more disturbing is the likelihood of such weapons being used by guerrilla non-state terrorists.

The author also recounts the recent history of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the scientist at the forefront of nuclear development who single-handedly peddled nuclear plans to North Korea, Iran, and other potentially hostile countries. He then examines in dramatic and tangible detail the chances for nuclear terrorism.

©2007 William Langewiesche; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[Langewiesche] takes a hard look at nuclear proliferation and explains why the problem isn't going away....Depressing but essential reading." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Mitch Emswiller 05-31-08 Member Since 2007
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    "A Review"

    Fast-paced and full of hard facts. Demonstrates how little the public knows of the scramble that is taking place as poor countries, extremists, etc., vie for the ultimate weapon and a seat at the table of power.

    Tempered by how much is required to actually weaponize uranium & plutonium and conceal this from the rest of the world.

    Dovetails nicely with "The Nuclear Jihadist" by Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins. The history of AQ Khan, the Father of the Islamic Bomb.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    -Derrick0572 Chicago 12-18-12
    -Derrick0572 Chicago 12-18-12 Member Since 2006
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    Story
    "If the world really knew..."
    If you could sum up The Atomic Bazaar in three words, what would they be?

    I guess I'd say: scary, scarier, and horrific.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The relative ease at which seemingly poor nations can get their hands on such profound materials such as uranium. The author wrote about the effects of a nuclear detonation and the thing about it is that death come swiftly! The heat alone just destroys anything in its path like no other. Though there are civil uses for nuclear power, making weapons from it should not be allowed under any circumstances because the consequences are far too great.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Weiner?

    Probably, but the story captured me, not the narrator's voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, when the author discusses the sequence of events resulting from a nuclear detonation from the point of impact through fallout. Very disturbing information, but very informative.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very good book and if you're even remotely interested in war, [nuclear] arms proliferation, foreign policy, or just the physics of nuclear weaponry, this book is very likely to impress you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amadeo 05-25-12
    Amadeo 05-25-12
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    "Not great, but worth it"
    Any additional comments?

    Gives too much attention to the political side of things and does not have the fantastic amount of technical detail the author is known for. Still a very good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leo Norwich, NY, USA 03-15-10
    Leo Norwich, NY, USA 03-15-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Amazing Book"

    I have long been morbidly fascinated by nuclear weapons--their history, the science behind them, their impact on geopolitics and military strategy, and what they mean for our collective futures. I was eager to read this book and was very impressed by its breadth and depth.

    The introduction contains the best description I've yet found of a nuclear explosion. The author follows the event from the initial nuclear reaction and the physics behind it, to the processes that convert that energy into destructive force and the effects of that force. It will send chills down your spine.

    The writing is impeccable, with both style and substance. The author is uncanny in his ability to have both the flair to highlight the drama and awe of what he is describing, but also the ability to communicate complex science in impressively articulate and concise ways.

    The book walks a fine line between going into too much detail about topics already well-covered by other books (like the history of the Manhattan Project), while yet also being very comprehensive and mentioning virtually all the relevant details. New ground is also broken, by examining the issues of nuclear terrorism and a very interesting look at the Pakistani nuclear program and how it relates to the issues of proliferation and the problem of rogue states. The book is remarkably short for having so much information, and indeed I found myself wanting more (not because it was incomplete, but because I so enjoyed the book). I'm also very glad to see a truly journalistic, indeed scholarly, analysis of the question of just how difficult building a nuclear device is--a complex question that people seem to oversimplify one way or the other. The author navigates all these issues marvelously, striking a wonderful and measured balance.

    The audio is well-performed, although the pace of the narrator seemed a bit hurried at first. The narrator's attempts at foreign accents were difficult to take seriously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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