Join Garret Graff for a discussion of his new book, Raven Rock. This eye-opening title explores the government’s secret plans to survive a catastrophic attack on US soil.
ABOUT THE BOOK: Every day in Washington, DC, the blue-and-gold 1st Helicopter Squadron, codenamed “MUSSEL,” flies over the Potomac River. As obvious as the Presidential motorcade, most people assume the squadron is a travel perk for VIPs. They’re only half right: while the helicopters do provide transport, the unit exists to evacuate high-ranking officials in the event of a terrorist or nuclear attack on the capital. In the event of an attack, select officials would be whisked by helicopters to a ring of secret bunkers around Washington, even as ordinary citizens were left to fend for themselves.
For sixty years, the US government has been developing secret Doomsday plans to protect itself, and the multibillion-dollar Continuity of Government (COG) program takes numerous forms—from its plans to evacuate the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to the plans to launch nuclear missiles from a Boeing-747 jet flying high over Nebraska. In Raven Rock, Garrett M. Graff sheds light on the inner workings of the 650-acre compound (called Raven Rock) just miles from Camp David, as well as dozens of other bunkers the government built its top leaders during the Cold War, from the White House lawn to Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado to Palm Beach, Florida, and the secret plans that would have kicked in after a Cold War nuclear attack to round up foreigners and dissidents and nationalize industries. Equal parts a presidential, military, and cultural history, Raven Rock tracks the evolution of the government plan and the threats of global war from the dawn of the nuclear era through the War on Terror.
“You may think you have some idea of how the United States prepared for nuclear war, but you will be shocked, appalled, amazed, fascinated, darkly amused, and just plain gob-smacked by what Garrett Graff has dug up. Deeply researched and lucidly written, Raven Rock is a haunting, compelling journey into the past—with disturbing meaning for the future.”
—Evan Thomas, author of Ike’s Bluff and Being Nixon
“Equal parts thriller, sober history, and tragic comedy, Garrett Graff’s Raven Rock is an indispensable volume for anyone seeking to understand how the Cold War and the specter of nuclear annihilation shaped the world. Graff is a meticulous researcher and truly gifted storyteller. Readers will find themselves mesmerized by his careful and fast-paced examination of our government’s top-secret plans to survive a nuclear attack while the rest of us are turned to ash.”
—Del Quentin Wilber, author of Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Garrett M. Graff, a magazine journalist and historian, has spent more than a dozen years covering politics, technology, and national security. He’s written for publications from Wired to The New York Times, and served as the editor of two of Washington’s most prestigious magazines, Washingtonian and POLITICO Magazine. His books include The Threat Matrix: The FBI War in the Age of Global Terror and The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House.
DATE: Thursday, May 25th at 7pm
LOCATION: Phoenix Books Burlington
ADMISSION: Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Vermont Foodbank. Your $3 ticket comes with a coupon for $5 off a copy of the featured book. Coupons expire at closing the evening of the event.
BENEFICIARY: Founded in 1986, the Vermont Foodbank has grown to be the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving Vermont through a network of food shelves, meal sites, schools, hospitals, and housing sites. The Foodbank’s mission is to gather and share quality food and nurture partnerships so that no one in Vermont goes hungry. In FY2016, the Vermont Foodbank distributed more than 12 million pounds of food to 153,100 Vermonters. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation.