The Dead Hand (Paperback)
Reagan, Gorbachev and the Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race
David E. Hoffman
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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
The Dead Hand is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative history of Reagan, Gorbachev and the final decade of the Cold War. Washington Post journalist David E. Hoffman draws on exclusive interviews in both Russia and the US, as well as classified documents from deep inside the Kremlin, piecing together the first full – and intensely dramatic – account of how the US/Soviet arms race came to a close, and revealing the previously unheralded collection of scientists, soldiers, diplomats and spies that made it happen.
A stunning feat of research and narrative. Terrifying.
Authoritative and chilling … a readable, many-tentacled account of the decades-long military standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union … The Dead Hand is deadly serious, but this story can verge on pitch-black comedy – Dr. Strangelove as updated by the Coen Brothers.
'The Dead Hand' is a brilliant work of history, a richly detailed, gripping tale that takes us inside the Cold War arms race as no other book has…a story so riveting and scary that you feel like you are reading a fictional thriller.
An extraordinary achievement.
This is a tour de force of investigative history.
A thought-provoking book which reads like a thriller. A gripping chronicle of the second half of the last century and a brilliant analysis of the single strategic conflict that more than any other shaped today's world.
I found 'The Dead Hand' extremely stimulating. As a Foreign Office Minister I was involved in Gorbachev's meeting with Margaret Thatcher; and as Defence Secretary from 1992-95 I was very much associated with the safe removal of post-Soviet states' nuclear weapons. This book is an excellent history of that period.
This book, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and is soon to be published in the UK, is in the best traditions of American long-form reportage… Key characters are evoked in enough detail to make us care and then carry the narrative through to the end. It involves simplifications and elisions: but in this case, these are less important than the horrified fascination Hoffman – a former Washington Post Moscow correspondent, later foreign editor – succeeds in rousing through a story at once journalistically detailed and morally alive.
Hoffman's magisterial, human, vividly readable account of a remarkable time doesn't stop in 1991.
[Hoffman] has compiled a fascinating narrative of the last phase of the cold war and the era of Mikhail Gorbachev, glasnost and perestroika, which ended amid the collapse of the Soviet Union.
This is an important well-written volume that makes a major contribution to our understanding of the last decade of the Cold War and its aftermath.
['The Dead Hand'] has important things to say… It is exceptionally well informed. Anyone interested in the Cold War will learn something new from this fascinating, if rather depressing, read.
If you like your history told James Bond style, you'll love this book.
David E. Hoffman bagged a Pulitzer for 'The Dead Hand: Reagan, Gorbachev and the Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race' (Icon Books, €11.99). The book reads with the pace of a political thriller and includes wonderful insight into the relationship between the Cold War's two central characters who managed to pull their empires back from the brink at a time when they shared an arms arsenal with the explosive power of 1 million Hiroshimas.