Atomic Pulse

What We’re Reading and Watching

Each month on Atomic Pulse, we’ll put together a list of the videos, films, news and magazine articles, and books that we’ve found interesting or challenging, funny or smart, inspiring or maddening–or some combination of the above.

Some of you may already have seen or read what we share; others may have missed something worthwhile along the way. We can all use a little help in the ICYMI category, right?

We hope you’ll enjoy and please send suggestions!

With the disclaimer that the views expressed may not necessarily reflect those of NTI or members of our Board or our mascot (OK, we admit it, we don’t actually have a mascot), this month we recommend:

Putin, Syria, and Why Moscow Has Gone War Crazy,” by Joshua Yaffa in The New Yorker. Could it be that “a measured dose of faux insanity is being used to make up for a gaping disparity in conventional military and economic strength,” as one Moscow columnist posits?

Former missileer Bruce Blair’s compelling piece in The New York Times on the need for presidential restraint in nuclear decision making.

Dan Zak’s Almighty: Courage, Resistance and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age, a new non-fiction book that Amazon aptly describes as “part historical adventure, part courtroom drama, part moral thriller … (as it) reshapes the accepted narratives surrounding nuclear weapons and shows that our greatest modern-day threat remains a power we discovered long ago.” The New York Times called it “strangely captivating.” We think it’s the best thing out since …

Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety. It’s not new – but we thought we’d give it a plug since a) it’s a tremendous book and b) the film is now screening around the country and set to be broadcast nationally on PBS in early 2017.

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake. Also not new, but Clarke’s warnings feel more urgent every day.

The New York Times’ stunning magazine and online piece, “Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart.” If you happened to be on summer vacation in August and didn’t see it, take a look now. You don’t want to miss this fantastic piece of storytelling.

My Journey at the Nuclear Brink by William J. Perry, the 19th U.S. Secretary of Defense. As George P. Shultz writes in the foreword, “Bill’s journey, so vibrantly recorded in this book, goes on as he works aggressively to stem the tide of nuclear weapons and guide the world onto a constructive path once again.”

And finally, who knew Defense Secretary Ash Carter was such a cut-up? Join him for a trip through the Pentagon with Seth Meyers.

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