Nuclear Terrorism in America

Benjamin Schwartz deserves much credit. Annihilating the claim that terrorism isn’t an existential threat to America, Schwartz’s new book, Right of Boom, forces us to consider what just one atomic explosion might mean for humanity’s future. Even better for a book about public policy, he writes with accessibility for serious readers, neither talking down to us nor assuming that we have technical expertise in his field.

Schwartz, a national security analyst at the Department of Defense, paints a picture of mayhem in the aftermath of such an explosion. “On an otherwise calm and uneventful morning, a small nuclear weapon explodes in downtown Washington, DC.… The casualty count rises to over a hundred thousand, and the destruction is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars.”