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

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

Dan Zak

9.18.2017

Dan Zak

Dan Zak is a reporter for The Washington Post. He has written a wide range of news stories, narratives, and profiles while on local, national, and foreign assignments. He is from Buffalo, N.Y., and lives in Washington, D.C.

A general assignment feature reporter for the Washington Post since 2005, Zak is the author of Almighty, a book about nuclear weapons, the activists who resist them, and the bureaucracy that maintains them. 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 supposedly one of the most secure sites in the world, a bastion of warhead parts and hundreds of tons of highly enriched uranium. The three activists – a house painter, a Vietnam War veteran, and an 82-year-old Catholic nun – penetrated the complex’s exterior with alarming ease. Once inside, these pacifists hung protest banners, spray-painted biblical messages, and streaked the walls with human blood. 
At a time of concern about proliferation in such nations as Iran and North Korea, the U.S. arsenal is plagued by its own security problems. 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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