The Secret State

The Secret State : Whitehall and the Cold War

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This text reveals the full extent of Britain's preparations for nuclear war during the Cold War. When would the Prime Minister have authorised the use of nuclear force? At what stage in a nuclear exchange would government and the country have broken down? Who would have gone with the PM and the War Cabinet and where was the immensely secret underground bunker that they would have gone to? What would the Queen have been told, and when, about the end of her kingdom? Peter Hennessy answers these questions in an accessible style.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 121.9 x 193 x 27.9mm | 317.52g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • illustrations, maps, notes, index
  • 0141008350
  • 9780141008356
  • 1,378,607

Table of contents

Secrets and mysteries - the intelligence picture; the importance of being nuclear - the bomb and the fear of escalation; defending the realm - vetting, filing and smashing; "beyond the imagination" - the specture of ever-greater annihilation; "breakdown" - preparing for the worst; to the Cotswold Station - the last redoubt; retaliation - buttons and envelopes. Appendix: Had war come in October 1966 (and how the blanket was put back over TURNSTILE).
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About Peter Hennessy

Peter Hennessy is Professor of Contemporary History at Queen Mary, University of London. His previous books include The Prime Minister: The Office and Its Holders Since 1945, Never Again: Britain 1945-1951 (winner of the 1993 NCR Prize) and Whitehall.
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Rating details

152 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 26% (39)
4 47% (71)
3 26% (39)
2 1% (1)
1 1% (2)
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