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An absorbing and terrifying suspense story which builds up to a sensational and horrifying climax, this may well capture the audience that panted over Worlds in Collision and relished with a kind of unholy fascination Nevil Shute's On the Beach. The question posed by Fail-Safe is this: Could a mechanical failure spark a world war? The Pentagon, the White House, SAC all felt that every safeguard operated; that no bombers would pass the line controlled by Fall-Safe unless the President pressed the button. And then they did- six of them, and headed for their goal Moscow. The reader sits in the White House bomb shelter and watches the precision with which events march forward, with no possibility of reversing them; he watches the giant screen in the still more secret place where the top brass gather; he listens in on telephone communication established between the President and Khrushchev in an effort to stop retaliation once the bombs are released over Moscow. Khrushchev has ordered every from of counterattack, aided by secret information being given him from Washington -- and still two of the bombers go forward. At the close, the President gives the only order that will prevent world holocaust an eye for an eye, -- New York must be destroyed, and by American bombs.... The shattering effect on the participants, forced to betray their own lifetime training -- and the complete acceptance on the part of all that the world must get rid of the Bomb before the World is brought to an end -- this provides the finale of a book that will startle readers everywhere. Written as fiction, it still carries a sense of authenticity. Harvey Wheeler is an expert in scientific and aviation affairs; Eugene Burdick was co-author of The Ugly American. And the book is the November selection of Book-of-the-Month. It can't miss.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1962
Publisher: McGraw-Hill