84 books like Almighty

By Dan Zak,

Here are 84 books that Almighty fans have personally recommended if you like Almighty. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

Gregg Herken Author Of Brotherhood of the Bomb: The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller

From my list on who made and thought about using bombs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an emeritus professor of modern American diplomatic history at the University of California, having previously taught at Oberlin, Caltech, and Yale. I’ve also been chairman of the Division of Space History at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, where I was the Curator of Military Space. I’ve been fascinated—and concerned—about nuclear weapons and nuclear war since I was 12, when I saw the movie On the Beach.  Then, as now, nuclear weapons and the (currently-increasing) danger of nuclear war are the most important things on the planet.  

Gregg's book list on who made and thought about using bombs

Gregg Herken Why did Gregg love this book?

Even after almost forty years, Rhodes’s book is still the most detailed, accurate, and readable account of how the atomic bomb came to be. 

The author’s description of the moment Leo Szilard realized the weapon was possible still brings me to tears. Nobody has done this history better.  

By Richard Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Making of the Atomic Bomb as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a brand new introduction from the author, this is the complete story of how the bomb was developed. It is told in rich, human, political, and scientific detail, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan. Few great discoveries have evolved so swiftly -- or have been so misunderstood. From the theoretical discussions of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity there was a span of hardly more than twenty-five years. What began as merely an interesting speculative problem in physics grew into the Manhattan…


Book cover of Hiroshima

Rhys Crilley Author Of Unparalleled Catastrophe: Life and Death in the Third Nuclear Age

From my list on nuclear war and how to stop it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I currently spend my time researching (and worrying about) nuclear war and how to stop it from ever happening. I live about 25 miles away from where the UK’s nuclear weapons are based, so I have a very personal interest in making sure that nuclear war never becomes a reality! As a lecturer at the University of Glasgow I’m also embarking on a four-year research fellowship with over £1 million in funding where I will be leading a team of experts to research how to improve nuclear arms control and disarmament. So keep in touch if you want to reduce the risk of nuclear war and ban the bomb!

Rhys' book list on nuclear war and how to stop it

Rhys Crilley Why did Rhys love this book?

I really enjoyed Christopher Nolan’s Academy Award-winning Oppenheimer movie, and this book is the perfect book to read after watching it. Hiroshima was the first widespread account of what Oppenheimer’s creation – the atomic bomb – did to the people of Hiroshima.

Written in the immediate aftermath of the nuclear bombing, Hiroshima tells the story of six men and women who survived amidst the destruction that killed over 100,000 other people. By focusing on these six survivors, Hersey makes the almost unimaginable scale of destruction achingly real and relatable. At one point, he describes "the wounded as silent as the dead around them," and this line sends shivers down my spine. 

Few writers can conduct such detailed investigative reporting and tell the story in such a human way that still resonates today, nearly 80 years after it was first published. 

By John Hersey,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Hiroshima as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“One of the great classics of the war" (The New Republic) that tells what happened in Hiroshima through the memories of survivors—from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. 

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey's journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic "that stirs the conscience of humanity" (The New York Times).

Almost four decades after the original publication of this celebrated book, John Hersey went back to Hiroshima in search…


Book cover of Truman

Lin Wilder Author Of Plausible Liars: A Dr. Lindsey McCall Medical Mystery

From my list on preparing for writing/walking/thinking/acting against the crowd.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who just published a book I didn’t have any interest in writing. I didn’t like the subject matter, so I had no interest in doing the research to create credible characters and a cohesive plot.

Lin's book list on preparing for writing/walking/thinking/acting against the crowd

Lin Wilder Why did Lin love this book?

I didn’t have the time or energy for this tome of a book on Harry Truman. Hence, I'd never have read it had it not been ‘assigned’ by the book club I was in.

But I was mesmerized from the first pages. And felt connected to this unobtrusive, somewhat unattractive man who was in every way ordinary. But who became the president during the last days of World War ll. A man who thought and spoke clearly. A man who seemed to personify the virtues without calling them that.

I learned a great deal from this book.

By David McCullough,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Truman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America's beloved and distinguished historian.

The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters-Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson-and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man-a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined-but also the turbulent times in which…


Book cover of Day of Trinity

Denise Kiernan Author Of The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

From my list on The Manhattan Project and the making of the atomic bomb.

Why am I passionate about this?

Denise Kiernan is a multiple New York Times bestselling author of narrative nonfiction books including The Girls Of Atomic City, The Last Castle, and We Gather Together. While writing The Girls Of Atomic City, Kiernan not only tracked down and interviewed countless individuals who worked directly on the Manhattan Project, she also consumed virtually every book ever written on the subject and spent endless days in the bowels of the National Archives deep-diving into the institution’s Atomic Energy Commission holdings. She served as a member of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park Scholars Forum in Washington, D.C., helping shape the topics and interpretive planning for this new national park. She has spoken at institutions across the country on topics covered in her book.

Denise's book list on The Manhattan Project and the making of the atomic bomb

Denise Kiernan Why did Denise love this book?

Published in 1965 and written by then Washington and foreign correspondent of Time Magazine Lamont, this book remains for me an exceptionally compelling narrative history.

The lens here is focused tightly on the events leading up to the first-ever test of an atomic bomb, which was codenamed “Trinity.” Obsessively researched, yes, but it’s Lamont’s writing that makes readers feel as though they are there, in the vastness of the desert, witnessing a happening that changed the world forever.

By Lansing Lamont,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Day of Trinity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Day of Trinity by Lansing Lamont.


Book cover of Nuclear War: A Scenario

James Graham Wilson Author Of America's Cold Warrior: Paul Nitze and National Security from Roosevelt to Reagan

From my list on reducing nuclear war risk Cold War to present.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even before recently becoming a dad, I was passionate about reducing the risks of nuclear war. I am also firmly committed to pursuing—yet never fully knowing—the answers when it comes to achieving that. I think that trying to figure out why things happened as they did in the Cold War can sometimes help illuminate partial answers. The late Michael Krepon referred to the period 1985–1992 as the high tide of nuclear agreements and risk reduction, and I retain optimism that it can happen again. Deterrence is equally important. I have spent the past decade working on historical projects covering national security and negotiating sides of the Cold War equation.

James' book list on reducing nuclear war risk Cold War to present

James Graham Wilson Why did James love this book?

Love is probably not the term I would use for this book. I am glad that Annie Jacobsen wrote it, and I think anyone interested in the real threat of nuclear war should read it. There are moments in it—particularly one very consequential decision that the U.S. president makes—that are highly implausible and have generated criticism from people who have devoted their careers to nuclear deterrence.

However, it is worth noting that no one actually knows how the leader of a nuclear-armed state would react to the news of an incoming nuclear attack because that scenario has never happened before. I think it is worth emphasizing this book’s subtitle: “A Scenario”—which is not “The Scenario” or “All Scenarios.” There are many scenarios that do not end as definitively as in Jacobsen’s scenario.

I include this book in the topic of reducing the risk of nuclear war because it so vividly…

By Annie Jacobsen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Nuclear War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Arms and Influence: With a New Preface and Afterword

Martin Van Creveld Author Of The Privileged Sex

From my list on on war, full stop.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a professor emeritus of history at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, over the years I’ve been widely mentioned as one of the world’s foremost experts on military theory and history. On these and other topics I have written 34 books, which between them have been published in 19 languages. I’ve also consulted with defense departments, taught and lectured all over the world, etc., etc.

Martin's book list on on war, full stop

Martin Van Creveld Why did Martin love this book?

In the whole of military history, no year was more important than 1945. Why? Because it introduced nuclear weapons to the world and the world to nuclear weapons. Both before and after Hiroshima new weapons have always affected the way war is waged; whereas nuclear ones, by threatening to turn even the “victor” into a radioactive desert, have cast doubt on the purpose for which may be waged and even whether it can be waged at all. 

As the current war in Ukraine has shown once again, provided both sides have a credible second-strike capability using nuclear weapons to win a war is impossible. So what can they be used for and how? Proceeding step by step Schelling, a Nobel-Prize winning professor of game theory, provides the answers in ways that not only have not been improved upon since the book was published in 1965 but are easy to understand…

By Thomas C. Schelling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Arms and Influence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traditionally, Americans have viewed war as an alternative to diplomacy, and military strategy as the science of victory. Today, however, in our world of nuclear weapons, military power is not so much exercised as threatened. It is, Mr. Schelling says, bargaining power, and the exploitation of this power, for good or evil, to preserve peace or to threaten war, is diplomacy-the diplomacy of violence. The author concentrates in this book on the way in which military capabilities-real or imagined-are used, skillfully or clumsily, as bargaining power. He sees the steps taken by the U.S. during the Berlin and Cuban crises…


Book cover of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner

Aurélie Basha i Novosejt Author Of 'I Made Mistakes': Robert McNamara's Vietnam War Policy, 1960-1968

From my list on the life and times of Daniel Ellsberg.

Why am I passionate about this?

My research permitted amazing conversations with some of McNamara’s former colleagues and their children, including Daniel Ellsberg. Ellsberg informed the direction of my research and shared my excitement about the sources I was looking for, especially the secret diaries of his former (and beloved) boss, John McNaughton. He is both a window into and a foil to McNamara. On substance, they were in basic agreement on most issues (from Vietnam to nuclear issues), but they chose very different paths to address their moral qualms. I think the questions they asked–including on the moral responsibility of public officials–are as urgent today as they were in the 1960s.

Aurélie's book list on the life and times of Daniel Ellsberg

Aurélie Basha i Novosejt Why did Aurélie love this book?

Ellsberg’s last book focused more clearly on his work on nuclear planning within the Department of Defense, where Secrets had mostly concerned itself with Vietnam.

The book provides a chilling account of how tenuous and fragile a system based on nuclear deterrence remains. Much more than that, the book is a clarion call for all of its readers to be alive to the morality of the very existence of nuclear weapons.

By Daniel Ellsberg,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Doomsday Machine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non-Fiction

From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, the first insider expose of the awful dangers of America's hidden, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that is chillingly still extant

At the same time former presidential advisor Daniel Ellsberg famously took the top-secret Pentagon Papers, he also took with him a chilling cache of top-secret documents related to America's nuclear program in the 1960s. Here for the first time he reveals the contents of those now-declassified documents and makes clear their shocking relevance for today.

The Doomsday Machine is Ellsberg's hair-raising…


Book cover of The Firecracker Boys: H-Bombs, Inupiat Eskimos, and the Roots of the Environmental Movement

Bradford Smith Author Of Atlin Where Everyone Knows Your Dog's Name

From my list on Northern wilderness and people who survive there.

Why am I passionate about this?

Every book on my list has a personal connection. I’ve either been to these locations, have had similar experiences, or have met the authors. The connecting threads of my list are perseverance over incredible odds, survival in a harsh landscape, and the courageous and undefeatable spirit of the characters. I love all these books because they tell great stories about amazing people in the land and environs that I have made my home for my entire life.

Bradford's book list on Northern wilderness and people who survive there

Bradford Smith Why did Bradford love this book?

In 1958 Edward Teller, the father of the H bomb, and the United States Government wanted to explode six mega-ton bombs, forty miles from an Inupiat village on the coast of the Bering Sea in arctic Alaska. Project Chariot was to be the first in a line of proposed projects using nuclear bombs for creating info structure. The explosions were intended to create a deep-water port. Read how a small Inupiat village, a handful of scientists, and a few conservationists took on the US government and won, in the process, birthed the modern conservation movement in the United States. Well written, informative, inspirational, and a joy to read.

By Dan O'Neill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Firecracker Boys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1958, Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb, unveiled his plan to detonate six nuclear bombs off the Alaskan coast to create a new harbor. However, the plan was blocked by a handful of Eskimos and biologists who succeeded in preventing massive nuclear devastation potentially far greater than that of the Chernobyl blast. The Firecracker Boys is a story of the U.S. government's arrogance and deception, and the brave people who fought against it-launching America's environmental movement. As one of Alaska's most prominent authors, Dan O'Neill brings to these pages his love of Alaska's landscape, his skill as a nature…


Book cover of The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump

Rhys Crilley Author Of Unparalleled Catastrophe: Life and Death in the Third Nuclear Age

From my list on nuclear war and how to stop it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I currently spend my time researching (and worrying about) nuclear war and how to stop it from ever happening. I live about 25 miles away from where the UK’s nuclear weapons are based, so I have a very personal interest in making sure that nuclear war never becomes a reality! As a lecturer at the University of Glasgow I’m also embarking on a four-year research fellowship with over £1 million in funding where I will be leading a team of experts to research how to improve nuclear arms control and disarmament. So keep in touch if you want to reduce the risk of nuclear war and ban the bomb!

Rhys' book list on nuclear war and how to stop it

Rhys Crilley Why did Rhys love this book?

One of my favourite things about this book is the clarity with which the authors—a former US Secretary of Defense and a leading nuclear policy advisor—diagnose what’s wrong with American nuclear weapons policy and propose solutions that would make us all safer.

I loved how the book is both a great public education resource (here’s what’s wrong with US nuclear policy) and a call to arms (here’s what you can do to make it better!). I also loved how the book makes it clear that the US approach to achieving national security through increasing reliance on nuclear weapons, in fact, makes the US less secure.

By William J. Perry, Tom Z. Collina,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Button as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The President has the power to end the world in minutes. Right now, no one can stop him.

Since the Truman administration, America has been one "push of a button" away from nuclear war-a decision that rests solely in the hands of the President. Without waiting for approval from Congress or even the Secretary of Defense, the President can unleash America's entire nuclear arsenal.

Almost every governmental process is subject to institutional checks and balances. Why is potential nuclear annihilation the exception to the rule? For decades, glitches and slip-ups have threatened to trigger nuclear winter: misinformation, false alarms, hacked…


Book cover of Triple

Scott Lord Author Of Come November

From my list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a longtime Los Angeles trial lawyer, as well as a writer and librettist. I graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz and from the Santa Clara University School of Law where I was a member of the Law Review. Me and my wife, Susan, are the parents of six children and live in Santa Monica, California. My previous novel, The Logic Bomb, a legal thriller, was published in 2015.

Scott's book list on thrillers to make you wish you lived in another time

Scott Lord Why did Scott love this book?

It was hard to choose one among this prolific author’s many wonderful historical thrillers. 

Triple makes my list because of the intricate and enthralling plot about the race among Middle East enemies Israel and Egypt to develop nuclear weapons. It has compelling characters, a riveting love story, and takes place in part in the pivotal year of 1947.

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Triple as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is 1968. Israeli Intelligence has learned that Egypt, with Soviet help, will develop atomic bombs within months -- an untimely end for the young nation unless a source of uranium for Israeli bombs can be found. Impossible, of course, unless someone as improbable as the plan can be found to steal it. Working alone, Israeli agent Nat Dickstein concocts an ingenious scenario for the biggest, and quietest, hijacking in history. Against him are the Russian KGB, Egyptian Intelligence and the Arab extremists Fedayeen. With him is a half-English, half-Arab young woman of uncertain allegiance, who discovers Dickstein's Achilles' heel.


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