Why did I love this book?
In the past few decades, politicians and pundits have worked hard to craft our collective memory of the 1980s. Many promote it was a golden age of small government, a booming economy, and a strong, morally-centered foreign policy. Andrew Hunt’s We Begin Bombing in Five Minutes acts as a corollary to this interpretation. Covering aspects of domestic protests, the antinuclear movement, battles over the “Vietnam Syndrome,” and the backlash to Reagan’s foreign policies in Central America and elsewhere, Hunt explores another side of the 1980s Cold War. His book’s title is taken from an off-the-cuff joke Reagan made about destroying the Soviet Union. Doing so at such a tense time in U.S. foreign relations made Reagan’s gaff one that alarmed observers at home and abroad--a testament to how tense the era really was.