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Attack Warning Red!


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About the Author

Julie McDowall is a freelance journalist and book critic specialising in the nuclear threat. Her writing has appeared in The Times, Economist, Spectator, Guardian, TLS, Prospect and Independent, and she is also the host of the Atomic Hobo podcast in which she reveals findings in the nuclear archives and reports on her travels to nuclear bunkers and other Cold War sites.


Cracking * Sunday Telegraph *
So entertaining * The Times *
Very good ... A sobering book, but a gripping one * Spectator *
Julie McDowall's thoroughly gripping study ... makes for genuinely startling and sometimes darkly funny reading... [it's] brilliantly chilling and sparkily engaging * Mail on Sunday *
Attack Warning Red! is a timely reminder of the mind-blanking horror of nuclear warfare, as it menaces Europe once more * Sunday Times *
Simultaneously horrifying, weirdly nostalgic and darkly hilarious * Mark Haddon, author of The Porpoise *
Impossible to believe, just as hard to put down. Urgent. Terrifying * Dan Snow, historian and host of History Hit *
Superb ... a lucid, totally compulsive read from beginning to end, chilling as well as profoundly empathetic in tone * Mick Jackson, director of Threads *
Brilliant and unforgettable ... A beautifully writtern horror story and amazing work of research ... Julie McDowall has made the unreadable compulsive and the unthinkable thinkable, but above all this is a book that cherishes humanity in all its absurdity, intelligence, vulnerability, courage and, against all odds, belief in hope and survival * Juliet Nicolson, author of Frostquake *
Captivating, chilling, and at times darkly humorous. A fascinating insight into Britain's preparations for surviving Armageddon, and the ghastly reality of what the aftermath of a nuclear war would actually be like * Lewis Dartnell, author of The Knowledge *
Fascinating * Sir Lawrence Freedman, author of Command *
How to prepare for Armageddon? Julie McDowell has written the best exploration yet of how successive British administrations grappled with the challenge of living under the shadow of nuclear war, with depth, compassion and very necessary dark humour * Prof. Mark Galeotti, author of The Weaponisation of Everything *
This by turns harrowing and farcical book charts the reality of living under constant threat of nuclear oblivion * iPaper *
Timely ... harrowing ... farcical ... the most surprising aspect of Attack Warning Red!, however, is that, alongside generous helpings of fear and unease, it carries a strong charge of nostalgia * Scotland on Sunday *
Attack Warning Red! effectively pulls together many strands from this unsettling aspect of British history and weaves them in a way that will alarm and entertain * BBC History Magazine *
A fascinating read * Radio Times *
An atomic Dad's Army, McDowall's history of the UK's nuclear civil defence is full of hilarious gems * Daily Telegraph *
McDowall's book has the tone of a podcast [...] She leads her audience round bunkers, propaganda films and government records, pointing out the horrifying, the unexpected and the absurd * London Review of Books *
A superb achievement ... a lucid, totally compulsive read from beginning to end, chilling as well as profoundly empathetic in tone * Mick Jackson, director of Threads *

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