"Jeffrey Robinson applies his eye for unforgettable characters to an early remake of the East-West duel."

-- International Herald Tribune


Saturday, 5 October 1957. 

  In the middle of the desolate Kazakhstan steppes, a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile was launched into space carrying a 183 pound steel ball with a simple radio transmitter tucked inside. Suddenly the future was Russian.

   For countries learning to live with the threat of nuclear war, the military implications were terrifying. For the Soviets, Sputnik proved that Communism worked and that world domination was possible. But for the US the aftermath was shattering - in a matter of hours they had lost their unrivaled world supremacy and much of their self-confidence with it. The launch of Sputnik truly marked the end of the "American century."

   Drawing on classified documents and interviews with those involved in the launch of Sputnik and the aftermath, Jeffrey Robinson brings to life the political maneuvers and hidden agendas of the Cold War.

   He reveals how Eisenhower plotted the invasion of Russia, how Macmillan used Sputnik to bring American atomic weapons to British shores, and how Khrushchev armed one ICBM with a nuclear warhead, set the guidance system to target the US and brought the world to within one hour of atomic holocaust.

   A world-class investigative thriller, The End Of The American Century is a shocking tale of private obsessions and public paranoia, of power- games, slapstick, miscalculations and the ultimate brinkmanship.

"Impressively researched."

-- Sunday Times

"As a vivid account, bringing in new material from the US and Soviet

sides, it is excellent."

-- Fred Halliday, London School of Economics