Accessory to War

Accessory to War

The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military

Book - 2018
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In this fascinating foray into the centuries-old relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer-researcher Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. "The overlap is strong, and the knowledge flows in both directions," say the authors, because astrophysicists and military planners care about many of the same things: multi-spectral detection, ranging, tracking, imaging, high ground, nuclear fusion, and access to space. Tyson and Lang call it a "curiously complicit" alliance. "The universe is both the ultimate frontier and the highest of high grounds," they write. "Shared by both space scientists and space warriors, it's a laboratory for one and a battlefield for the other. The explorer wants to understand it; the soldier wants to dominate it. But without the right technology--which is more or less the same technology for both parties--nobody can get to it, operate in it, scrutinize it, dominate it, or use it to their advantage and someone else's disadvantage."Spanning early celestial navigation to satellite-enabled warfare, Accessory to War is a richly researched and provocative examination of the intersection of science, technology, industry, and power that will introduce Tyson's millions of fans to yet another dimension of how the universe has shaped our lives and our world.
Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780393064445
Branch Call Number: 358.8 TYS
Additional Contributors: Lang, Avis

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MikeHanafin
Jan 02, 2019

Big question--will this be Tyson's last book? Considering the sexual harassment cloud hanging over him, it might be. I have to admit, I couldn't read it all--it was simply too much, so I skimmed parts. 400 pages, plus 150 pages of notes and sourcing! Credit/blame(?) here goes to Avis Lang, who is Tyson's long-time editor, and fully deserves co-writer credit for her overwhelming research. But each page ends up feeling like a university masters degree requirement.
Some of it is amazing, and the premise is legit--"the unspoken alliance between astrophysics and the military". Many of our proudest space achievements were directly linked to military developments--and vice-versa.

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