Kindle Nation Bargain Book Alert! SHOCKING, FUNNY, SAD AND RAUNCHY! Think “Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove, with a hilarious dash of Catch-22 thrown in” and you’ll have our Kindle eBook of the Day, Michael Harris’ THE ATOMIC TIMES – 4.6 Stars on 10 out of 11 5-Star Reviews, just $2.99 on Kindle!

Here’s the set-up for Michael Harris’ The Atomic Times: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground, 4.6 stars on 10 out of 11 rave reviews, just $2.99 on Kindle:

A real-life Catch-22 — with radiation

The searing and subversively funny memoir of a young Army draftee’s experiences during the H-bomb tests of the 1950s —
In late 1955, twenty-two-year old army private Michael Harris “earned” an assignment to Eniwetok Atoll, ground zero of U.S. Joint Task Force Seven’s Pacific Proving Ground.  There, on a desolate stretch of the South Pacific, Harris was part of a grand experiment called Operation Redwing.

The biggest and baddest of America’s atmospheric nuclear weapons test regimes, Redwing was one of those strange Cold War phenomena that mixed saber rattling with mad science, while overlooking the cataclysmic human, geopolitical and ecological effects.  But mostly, it just messed with guys’ heads.

With The Atomic Times, Michael Harris welcomes readers into the U.S. Army’s version of the nuclear family — the young men stationed in the Pacific during the 17 tests of Operation Redwing, where the local F-words were fallout and fireball.  As Harris tells it, daily life at ground zero could have been scripted by a committee comprising Franz Kafka, Sergeant Bilko, Hubert Selby, and Joseph Heller — all working within the constraints of the peacetime army’s unofficial modus operandi, “Hurry up and wait.”

When not playing radioactive guinea pig, Harris’ jobs included editing the base’s newspaper, cheekily named The Atomic Times, whose logo was a mushroom cloud and whose motto was “All the News That Fits, We Print.”  Harris, in a distinctive narrative voice, describes his H-Bomb year with unforgettable imagery and insight into how isolation and isotopes change men for better and for worse.

MICHAEL HARRIS began writing The Atomic Times in 1955 when he was an army draftee stationed on Eniwetok and finished fifty years later. In between, he married novelist Ruth Harris and spent years as a public relations executive at CBS Television, eleven of them on The Ed Sullivan Show — he was the first person to welcome the Beatles to America on their initial trip to the United States. Mr. Harris is also the author of the national bestseller, Always On Sunday: An Inside View of Ed Sullivan, the Beatles, Elvis, Sinatra & Ed’s Other Guests
Praise for Michael Harris’ The Atomic Times:

“THE ATOMIC TIMES is a gripping memoir of the first H-bomb tests by one of the small groups of servicemen stationed at Ground Zero on Eniwetok Atoll.  Leavened by humor, loyalty and pride of accomplishment, this book is also a tribute to the resilience, courage and patriotism of the American soldier.”
— Dr. Henry Kissinger

“Brilliantly conceived, elegantly rendered and persuasively authentic.”
— Robert B. Parker, bestselling author of the Spenser and Jesse Stone series

“One of the best books I’ve ever read, combining elements of Catch 22 and Dr. Strangelove in a memoir that is both hilarious and tragic.  A ‘must’ read, destined to become a classic.”
— John G. Stoessinger, Ph.D. (Harvard), winner of the Bancroft Prize for Inernational Affairs, member of the Council on Foreign Relations

“Harris has seamlessly presented a colorful cast of characters, and a shockingly honest depiction of his experience in the isolated Pacific islands during the 1956 H-Bomb tests.  The effect is at once deeply personal and politically profound.”
— Senator Charles Schumer

“The Atomic Times was a heavily censored military newspaper to which Harris contributed during his hellacious tour of duty on the island of Eniwetok, the Atomic Energy Commission’s Pacific Proving Ground.  Drafted in 1955, Harris didn’t think anything could be worse than his miserable, motherless childhood, but life was by turns absurd and terrfiying on Eniwetok as he and his stressed out comrades witnessed the testing of monstrous hydrogen bombs without protective gear.  Not only did the military cut down every tree and plant and pave paradise, the massive tests poisoned the air and the beautiful turquoise ocean.  The physical health of the men was threatened, and so was their sanity.  Bored, frightened, angry, and sexually frustrated, the men turn cruel, violent and suicidal.  Harris’ frank and disturbing descriptions of the criminally irresponsible proceedings on Eniwetok and the physical and mental pain he and others endured constitute shocking additions to atomic history.  Amazingly enough, given his ordeal, Harris, author of a popular biography of Ed Sullivan, with whom he worked at CBS, remains healthy.”
— Booklist

“Life on Eniwetok Atoll in the 1950s was a case of the doldrums punctuated by massive blasts, a pattern that mirrors Harris’ memoir of his time as a drafted soldier stationed far out in the Pacific during a series of hydrogen bomb tests, twelve of which Harris witnessed sans protective goggles. (The money initially earmarked for enlisted men’s goggles was diverted to buy new furniture for the colonel’s house. “Goggles are important,” Harris is told. “But the colonel’s furniture is important, too.”) Harris, also the author of the Ed Sullivan biography Always on Sunday, uses a chatty, dead-pan voice that highlights the horrifying absurdity of life on the island: the use of Geiger counters to monitor scrambled eggs’ radiation level, three-eyed fish swimming in the lagoon, corroded, permanently open windows that fail to keep out the radioactive fall-out and enlisted men whose toenails glow in the dark..  An entertaining read in the bloodline of Catch-22, Harris achieves the oddest of victories: a funny, optimistic story about the H-bomb.”
— Publisher’s Weekly

“Harris’s memoir is a chilling reminder that human beings are capable of great destruction as well as great teamwork and achievement.”
— Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager

“An important book about Harris’s fascinating experiences. A grim warning of what can happen in our own country if we do not find a way to end the nuclear threat.”
— Christie Brinkley, author, supermodel and anti-nuclear activist

Comments from other Atomic Veterans of Operation Redwing

“Michael Harris captures the feeling of isolation that all of us had on the remote Pacific island of Eniwetok and he shows the horrors of living with mushroom clouds.  THE ATOMIC TIMES   is impossible to put down.  It grabs you in a very compelling way.”
— Leon Nelms
Corinth, Mississippi

“Brought back memories of serving on Eniwetok during Operation Redwing.  I relived the excitement, the awe and the fear of wathcing atomic and hydrogen bombs being detonated, as well as the mind-numbing emptiness of an island which made you count the days until you could leave.”
— Chuck Morgan
Arlington Heights, Illinois

“WOW!  I too watched it sitting on the beach facing West across the lagoon through slits in the fingers covering my eyes (no goggles!).  It was truly awesome! The horrific rumble!  Goose bumps all over my body.  The flash.  The rising stem of the mushroom cloud.  And, the eerie time lag between the sight and the sound of the deep rumble we all felt that morning on the beach!  I can even feel the unimaginable power of the explosion these many years later…..Thanks for helping me remember.”
— Robert Cherouny
Round Hill, Virginia

 

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