The Dead Hand: Reagan, Gorbachev and the Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race

Author(s): David E. Hoffman


A hugely revered, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative history of Reagan, Gorbachev and the dying days of the Cold War - and the dangerous legacy of the nuclear arms the USSR left behind. The first full account of how the Cold War arms race finally came to a close, this riveting narrative history sheds new light on the people who struggled to end this era of massive overkill, and examines the legacy of the nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that remain a threat today. Drawing on memoirs, interviews in both Russia and the US, and classified documents from deep inside the Kremlin, David Hoffman examines the inner motives and secret decisions of each side and details the deadly stockpiles that remained unsecured as the Soviet Union collapsed. This is the fascinating story of how Reagan, Gorbachev, and a previously unheralded collection of scientists, soldiers, diplomats, and spies changed the course of history.


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'A stunning feat of research and narrative. Terrifying.' - John le Carre '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.' - New York Times 'A brilliant work of history, a richly detailed, gripping tale that take us inside the Cold War arms race as no other book has. It's a story so riveting and scary that you feel like you are reading a fictional thriller.' - Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City 'An extraordinary and compelling story, beautifully researched, elegantly told, and full of revelations about the superpower arms race in the dying days of the Cold War. The Dead Hand is riveting.' - Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of An Army At Dawn

David E. Hoffman served for 27 years as a reporter and editor at The Washington Post. He covered the White House during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and was subsequently diplomatic correspondent and Jerusalem correspondent. From 1995 to 2001, he was Moscow bureau chief, and later foreign editor and assistant managing editor for foreign news.

General Fields

  • : 9781848312999
  • : Icon Books Ltd
  • : Icon Books Ltd
  • : November 2011
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 40mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : January 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : David E. Hoffman
  • : Paperback
  • : 2012
  • : 909.825
  • : 576
  • : Illustrations