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Download Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age Audiobook, by Dan Zak Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dan Zak Narrator: Michael Quinlan Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2016 ISBN: 9781504724579
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On a tranquil summer night in July 2012, a trio of peace activists infiltrated the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nicknamed the “Fort Knox of Uranium,” Y-12 was reputedly one of the most secure nuclear weapons facilities in the world, a bastion of warhead parts that harbored hundreds of metric tons of highly-enriched uranium—enough to power thousands of nuclear bombs.

The activists—a house painter, a Vietnam veteran, and an eighty-two-year-old Catholic nun—penetrated the complex’s exterior with alarming ease; their strongest tools were two pairs of bolt cutters and three hammers. Once inside, the pacifists hung freshly spray-painted protest banners and streaked the complex’s white walls with six baby bottles’ worth of human blood. Then they waited to be arrested.

With the symbolic break-in, the Plowshares activists had hoped to draw attention to a costly military-industrial complex that stockpiled deadly nukes and drones. But they also triggered a political, legal, and moral firestorm when they defeated a multimillion-dollar security system. What if they had been terrorists with a deadly motive? Why does the United States continue to possess such large amounts of nuclear weaponry in the first place? And above all, are we safe?

In Almighty, Washington Post reporter Dan Zak explores these questions by reexamining America’s love-hate relationship with the bomb, from the race to achieve atomic power before the Nazis did to the solemn seventieth anniversary of Hiroshima. At a time of concern about proliferation in such nations as Iran and North Korea, the US arsenal is plagued by its own security problems. This life-or-death quandary is unraveled in Zak’s eye-opening account, with a cast that includes the biophysicist who first educated the public on atomic energy, the prophet who predicted the creation of Oak Ridge, the generations of activists propelled into resistance by their faith, and the Washington bureaucrats and diplomats who are trying to keep the world safe.

Part historical adventure, part courtroom drama, part moral thriller, Almighty reshapes the accepted narratives surrounding nuclear weapons and shows that our greatest modern-day threat remains a power we discovered long ago.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Zak’s narrative is a perfectly measured blend of biography, suspense, and history. He skillfully uses the small, finite story of the Y-12 protest to explore our national identity as a people whose culture is now intimately connected with things nuclear.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This book is essential reading for any American.”

    America Magazine

  • “Read Almighty. Its message is current and extremely urgent.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Zak demonstrates that we’re all in it together…and that none of us yet knows how to get out of it alive.“

    Washington Post

  • “A scrupulously reported, gracefully told, exquisitely paced debut.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Zak gracefully synthesizes the stories of the politicians and bureaucrats controlling stockpiles of weapons and those of the activists working to disarm them.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “There’s something calm and routine in narrator Michael Quinlan’s voice as he delivers this audiobook…There are hints of the trio’s passion in Quinlan’s reading…[and] the drama fully blooms in the courtroom where the trio is tried for sabotage.”


  • “A brilliant portrayal of these heroes of our time.”

    Kate Brown, author of Plutopia

  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of the Best Nonfiction of 2016
  • A Washington Post Notable Book of 2016
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About the Author

Dan Zak is a feature writer and general assignment reporter based in the Style section of the Washington Post. He has reported from a bathroom at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, a Hurricane Hunter over the Gulf of Mexico, an MRAP in Iraq’s Anbar province, the East Room of the White House, and the gymnasium of the Alexandria jail. He joined the Post in 2005, after stints as an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and as a city-desk reporter and obituary writer at the Buffalo News. He was born and raised in Buffalo, New York.