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The 2020 Commission Report on the North…
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The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the… (edition 2018)

by Jeffrey Lewis (Author)

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908223,110 (3.77)3
"A brilliantly conceived page-turner."--Eric Schlosser, author ofFast Food Nation and Command and Control "I couldn't put the book down, reading most of it in the course of one increasingly intense evening. If fear of nuclear war is going to keep you up at night, at least it can be a page-turner."--New Scientist America lost 1.4 million citizens in the North Korean attacks of March 2020. This is the final, authorized report of the government commission charged with investigating the calamity. "The skies over the Korean Peninsula on March 21, 2020, were clear and blue." So begins this sobering report on the findings of the Commission on the Nuclear Attacks against the United States, established by law by Congress and President Donald J. Trump to investigate the horrific events of the next three days. An independent, bipartisan panel led by nuclear expert Jeffrey Lewis, the commission was charged with finding and reporting the relevant facts, investigating how the nuclear war began, and determining whether our government was adequately prepared for combating a nuclear adversary and safeguarding U.S. citizens. Did President Trump and his advisers understand North Korean views about nuclear weapons? Did they appreciate the dangers of provoking the country's ruler with social media posts and military exercises? Did the tragic milestones of that fateful month--North Korea's accidental shoot-down of Air Busan flight 411, the retaliatory strike by South Korea, and the tweet that triggered vastly more carnage--inevitably lead to war? Or did America's leaders have the opportunity to avert the greatest calamity in the history of our nation? Answering these questions will not bring back the lives lost in March 2020. It will not rebuild New York, Washington, or the other cities reduced to rubble. But at the very least, it might prevent a tragedy of this magnitude from occurring again. It is this hope, more than any other, that inspiredThe 2020 Commission Report.… (more)
Member:benscripps
Title:The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States: A Speculative Novel
Authors:Jeffrey Lewis (Author)
Info:Mariner Books (2018), 307 pages
Collections:eBooks
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The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States: A Speculative Novel by Jeffrey Lewis

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Extremely readable and frequently terrifying, especially with almost everything being rooted in fact and linked back to true events. It essentially reads like a thriller with footnotes.

Wasn't so keen on the scenes with Trump as Lewis never really captures his voice quite right, which takes you out of the story at key times. The book doesn't go as much as I'd expected onto the immediate psychological effects of a nuclear attack to the wider country (and world), but I guess that's outside the scope of the form being used.

Good read in general, hard to put down. ( )
  arewenotben | Jul 31, 2020 |
This book was quite terrifying in terms of its realism, but I thought it lacked the level of detail (and quality of writing) to be truly great. I'd just as soon read the actual 9/11 Commission report, or other similar documents that this book is modeled after. Actually, just read this history of being aboard Air Force One during 9/11.

With that said, I'd recommend if you are at all intersted in nuclear policy and the mechanics of government disaster response. ( )
  josh.gunter | May 7, 2020 |
When I was much younger, reading books about nuclear war and about survival after such a war was my guilty reading pleasure. I devoured them all. But as we moved away from the Cold War, such novels began to appear last often, and I now read very little post-apocalyptic fiction. I came across this book several weeks ago when I was browsing the library, and never having heard anything about it, checked it out on a whim. For context, I checked it out before the US went to the brink of war with Iran, but read it after that little boondoggle.

This book is a fictional, but plausible, account of how the US (and Japan, South Korea, and Guam) could end up under nuclear attack by North Korea. It is written in the form of a Commission Report several years after the attack to attempt to explain what went wrong. As such, its focus is geopolitical, rather than an examination of the devastating effects of such a war, or any efforts to rebuild after such a war. (The author is some sort of Think Tank expert, and I think this is his only fiction.)

The book is a study on how our political leaders and various countries play games of brinksmanship with each other, and how each side frequently misreads the intentions of the other side, leading to escalation after escalation. In this book, real characters in the drama include Trump as president, Mattis as Secretary of Defense, and Kim Jung Il. The fictional Trump behaves much as I expect the real Trump would behave. I found the book to be chilling, especially as I was reading it almost contemporaneously with the Iran crisis.

Several of the Amazon reviewers were disappointed with the book because its focus was not the effects of the war and its aftermath and victims. As I said, the intent of the book seems to have been to consider the political circumstances which could lead to such a war, and I think it did a good job. It is more cerebral than graphic. Some other critics were dismayed that Trump was portrayed as a clownish figure more interested in golf, but to me that's his reality.

3 1/2 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Jan 18, 2020 |
I couldn't put it down! An incredibly realistic portrait of a very imaginable situation. And a wake-up call to those who feel diplomacy via Twitter is not harmful.
Lewis penned a fast moving story about how an entirely plausible accident escalates to nuclear war. Very believable. Very frightening.
Honestly, this short book should be required reading for all of our Federal Government Representatives. And to those who believe that the President's Twitter rampages and threats are not to be taken seriously. Most of all, maybe someone could read this to the President himself, if his attention span was long enough to pay attention! ( )
  1Randal | Oct 28, 2019 |
A speculative novel, written by a nonproliferation expert, that deals with the simple question: How could an accidental nuclear war with North Korea happen, and what would it look like?

I made my way through the book in two evenings, foregoing most other activities, which should tell you all you need to know about this book. It is a well-written, sobering reminder that with nuclear weapons in the mix, we are always on the brink of killing large numbers of people because of misunderstandings, bad communication, and just plain old bad luck.

Speaking a few days after the release, in August 2018, the book is very much up to date, with Donald Trump and his cadre of officials (some of which are still those in power today, some their inevitable replacements) presiding over the debacle that occurs in this fictional version of year 2020. There are some nice touches, with Trump tweets playing a central role, but it never gets implausible.

I should note that while the book is written in the form of a report by a commission tasked with investigating the events of 2020 (hence the title), it contains graphic descriptions of what happens to victims of nuclear attacks, and as you might imagine, these are not for the faint of heart. I found this book to be yet another powerful reminder for why nuclear weapons are dangerous, and why we would all be better off without them in the mix.

If you are at all interested in nuclear weapons or foreign policy, read this book. ( )
  malexmave | Oct 3, 2019 |
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"A brilliantly conceived page-turner."--Eric Schlosser, author ofFast Food Nation and Command and Control "I couldn't put the book down, reading most of it in the course of one increasingly intense evening. If fear of nuclear war is going to keep you up at night, at least it can be a page-turner."--New Scientist America lost 1.4 million citizens in the North Korean attacks of March 2020. This is the final, authorized report of the government commission charged with investigating the calamity. "The skies over the Korean Peninsula on March 21, 2020, were clear and blue." So begins this sobering report on the findings of the Commission on the Nuclear Attacks against the United States, established by law by Congress and President Donald J. Trump to investigate the horrific events of the next three days. An independent, bipartisan panel led by nuclear expert Jeffrey Lewis, the commission was charged with finding and reporting the relevant facts, investigating how the nuclear war began, and determining whether our government was adequately prepared for combating a nuclear adversary and safeguarding U.S. citizens. Did President Trump and his advisers understand North Korean views about nuclear weapons? Did they appreciate the dangers of provoking the country's ruler with social media posts and military exercises? Did the tragic milestones of that fateful month--North Korea's accidental shoot-down of Air Busan flight 411, the retaliatory strike by South Korea, and the tweet that triggered vastly more carnage--inevitably lead to war? Or did America's leaders have the opportunity to avert the greatest calamity in the history of our nation? Answering these questions will not bring back the lives lost in March 2020. It will not rebuild New York, Washington, or the other cities reduced to rubble. But at the very least, it might prevent a tragedy of this magnitude from occurring again. It is this hope, more than any other, that inspiredThe 2020 Commission Report.

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