The Bomb in the Base­ment: How Israel Went Nuclear and What That Means for the World

Michael Karpin
  • Review
By – June 25, 2012
In an era in which Europe has vir­tu­al­ly noth­ing good to say about the Jew­ish State, it may be hard to imag­ine a time bare­ly 50 years ago in which Israel con­duct­ed high lev­el nego­ti­a­tions and alliances with sev­er­al Euro­pean pow­ers. It is dif­fi­cult to believe that Ger­many secret­ly shipped Amer­i­can arms to Israel, that France promised and brought about the con­struc­tion of the Dimona reac­tor, and that, against the will of the US and France’s own Pres­i­dent de Gaulle, French Defense Min­istry per­son­nel com­plet­ed nuclear tech­nol­o­gy trans­fers that ulti­mate­ly gave Israel the nuclear option. 

Though it doesn’t quite read like a Tom Clan­cy nov­el, Karpin’s well-researched book is excit­ing, filled with details of the ear­ly life of the State’s lead­ers that his­to­ry buffs will hang on. And though the author some­times hypes his own dis­cov­er­ies as more earth­shak­ing than they are, the book’s depic­tion of the per­son­al­i­ties and con­flicts of Israel’s first decades is a fas­ci­nat­ing addi­tion to our col­lec­tive memory.
Jeff Bogursky reads a lot, writes a lit­tle and talks quite a bit. He is a media exec­u­tive and expert in dig­i­tal media.

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