Nuclear bomb

Annie Jacobsen: Nuclear War

45 min listen

My guest on this week’s Book Club podcast is the investigative reporter Annie Jacobsen, whose hair-raising new book Nuclear War: A Scenario imagines – minute by minute – what would unfold if the nuclear balloon went up. But rather than a work of fantasy, this is based on meticulously sourced reporting about the effects of nuclear weapons and the structures and policies that govern them. We all knew it would be bad but Jacobsen tells us just how bad, and how fast, and quite how little the people who push the button will actually know about what’s going on.

Dense and spectacular – and not pink: Oppenheimer reviewed

Oppenheimer is Christopher Nolan’s biopic of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant quantum physicist and ‘father of the atomic bomb’ who was later haunted by what he’d created. Starring Cillian Murphy, and his cheekbones, the film is dense, ambitious, complex, so very long (three hours) and impressive, even if it does drag by the end. (When a film is so very long, that’s the price you pay.) I could go on and on but, for many, the main selling point will be this: it isn’t Barbie and it isn’t pink. If that’s all the thanks you get for developing the next generation of weapon, I’m glad I never bothered It’s a