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Fail Safe Summary
Eugene Burdick

Everything you need to understand or teach Fail Safe by Eugene Burdick.

  • Fail Safe Summary & Study Guide

Fail Safe Summary

Plot Summary

In Fail-Safe, a well-known thriller from the 1960s, coauthors Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler fashion an exciting but cautionary tale of what can happen when two countries amass nuclear weapons in a continuous contest to become the mightiest military force on Earth. The novel was written in the midst of just such an astonishing situation, known as the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. The story begins placidly enough, when Russian language expert Peter Buck goes to his office at the White House and begins reading Soviet newspapers. His red phone, a direct line from the President, rings for the first time in his experience, and the plot begins to accelerate. Buck is called to the White House's underground bomb shelter with the President and a few other aides to deal with a possible crisis. At the Air Force's War Room in Omaha, American...

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