I finished reading this book over the last weekend. As the cover explains, the genre is “historical fiction.” The book revolves around America’s first hydrogen bomb nuclear test at the Bikini atoll in the South Pacific. After reading the book, I did some more research on the subject. Between 1946 and 1962, our government conducted 105 atmospheric and under-water (not under-ground) nuclear weapon tests — many of which were extremely high yield. There was considerable nuclear fallout on many of the Marshall Islands, several of which were inhabited. What’s more, the Micronesian Bikini Atoll inhabitants were forced to leave a homeland that had been theirs for centuries. (The Marshall Islands is a UN “Trust Territory” administered by the USA — which gave America the jurisdiction to force the relocation and conduct the tests.) Tests that left some of the islands uninhabitable, significantly increased cancer rates, and such, on the islands, and decimated island and aquatic eco-systems. (The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990 paid $750 million to Marshall Islanders.) Now here’s the thing… First of all, as president, I wouldn’t have been pursuing the development of a hydrogen bomb. Secondly, if this had already been developed before I became president, I would have just announced to the world that we had a bomb that was “…1,000 times more powerful than the ones dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Since the world already saw what the atom bomb could do (massive infra-structure destruction, 140,000 people dead in Hiroshima when the bomb hit, and another 66,000 deaths later), the world probably would have taken our word for it. And as for the nuclear physicists who developed the hydrogen bomb, there was probably a mathematical formula that told them that if so many atoms fuse together in, say, a certain size bomb, it will create x amount of energy. And if there’s x amount of energy, x amount of square miles will be destroyed, and x amount of people (depending on population density) will be killed. (And let’s face it, Russian nuclear physicists, through spy networks to steal the plans, etc., also developed the hydrogen bomb.) So, we were at Cold War chess “stalemate” anyway. Why test the thing, and 105 times at that, out in the ocean with all the people, eco-systems, and such, in harm’s way? Maybe those nuclear physicists (and American presidents for that matter) aren’t as smart as everyone thinks.