From Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Garry Wills comes this groundbreaking examination of how the atomic bomb profoundly altered the nature of American democracy and why we have been in a state of war alert ever since.
Wills's stimulating study makes the case that since the emergence of the nuclear bomb, the U.S. has shifted toward an executive-dominated government, a move fully developed and rationalized during the cold war as a necessary expedient in decision making. Stephen Hoye keeps the material from getting bogged down and technical with his deep and genial voice and clear emphasis and rhythmic delivery. The occasionally dense prose and sophisticated arguments are surprisingly easy to follow given the inflective cues. However, Hoye's quoting voice lacks a distinguishing shift and can catch listeners by surprise. A Penguin Press hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 21). (Feb.)