Truth is supposed to be stranger than fiction, but what is really strange when it comes to planning for nuclear war is when it is not.  --  The New Yorker reported Thursday that although when the film came out in 1964 American leaders mocked the premise of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" as ludicrous, in fact the scenario presented in the film was at that time plausible enough.  --  "Kubrick had researched the subject for years, consulted experts, and worked closely with a former RAF pilot, Peter George, on the screenplay of the film," said Eric Schlosser.  --  BACKGROUND:  Schlosser is the author of a book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety (Penguin, 2013), that has been called "hair-raising."  --  A reviewer for the Dallas Morning News said:  "The tale is riveting from start to finish.  --  In the first few chapters, I found myself so repeatedly astounded by Schlosser’s recounting of accidents in the early 1950s, I thought:  --  Certainly, it can’t get any worse than this.  --  But it kept getting worse -- so much so that I started folding the corners of each page that contained what seemed like the most egregious examples of nuclear mishaps and horrors.  --  I now have a 632-page book with roughly a quarter of the pages folded over for reference.  --  Command and Control is truly a monumental, Pulitzer-quality work." ...

A new book published on Tuesday reveals how in 1971 a group of antiwar protesters obtained documents that exposed FBI Director's J. Edgar Hoover's war on dissent.  --  They did it by taking enormous risks, pulling off a perfect heist at a suburban FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania.  --  Betty Medsger's The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI (Knopf, 2014), was discussed Tuesday in the New York Times and accompanied by a 13-minute video that describes the context of the heretofore unknown story.[1] ...

It is clear from his review of a new biography of Dag Hammarskjöld that Michael Ignatieff, another intellectual who has been burned by power politics, has a special feeling for the man whose combination of mystical idealism, disabused realism, and sheer courage helped the United Nations survive its early years.[1]  --  This piece is one of a number of remarkable essays in the fiftieth-anniversary number of the New York Review of Books....