Garrett Graff on the US government's secret plan to save itself
Phoenix Books Burlington will host journalist Garrett Graff for a talk on Raven Rock, the eye-opening new title that explores the government’s secret plans to survive a catastrophic attack on US soil, on Thursday, May 25th at 7pm. Every day in Washington, DC, the blue-and-gold 1st Helicopter Squadron, code-named “MUSSEL,” flies over the Potomac River. As obvious as the Presidential motorcade, most people assume the squadron is a travel perk for VIPs. They’re only half right: while the helicopters do provide transport, the unit exists to evacuate high-ranking officials in the event of a terrorist or nuclear attack on the capital. In the event of an attack, select officials would be whisked by helicopters to a ring of secret bunkers around Washington, even as ordinary citizens were left to fend for themselves.
For sixty years, the US government has been developing secret Doomsday plans to protect itself, and the multibillion-dollar Continuity of Government (COG) program takes numerous forms—from its plans to evacuate the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to the plans to launch nuclear missiles from a Boeing-747 jet flying high over Nebraska.
In Raven Rock, Garrett M Graff sheds light on the inner workings of the 650-acre compound (called Raven Rock) just miles from Camp David, as well as dozens of other bunkers the government built its top leaders during the Cold War, from the White House lawn to Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado to Palm Beach, Florida, and the secret plans that would have kicked in after a Cold War nuclear attack to round up foreigners and dissidents and nationalize industries. Equal parts a presidential, military, and cultural history, Raven Rock tracks the evolution of the government plan and the threats of global war from the dawn of the nuclear era through the War on Terror.
“Garrett Graff has given us a colorful and frightening account of the American government’s plans for doomsday, and the secret bunkers where official could go to save themselves. These early plans still have their counterparts today, and they reveal a lot about how warfighting doctrine evolved. Read it and be fascinated—and a little scared,” says Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Einstein.
Garrett M Graff, a magazine journalist and historian, has spent more than a dozen years covering politics, technology, and national security. He’s written for publications from Wired to The New York Times, and served as the editor of two of Washington’s most prestigious magazines, Washingtonian and POLITICO Magazine.
His books include The Threat Matrix: The FBI War in the Age of Global Terror and The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House.
Ticket proceeds will be donated to Vermont Foodbank. Tickets are $3 per person, and include a coupon for $5 off the featured book. Coupons expire at closing the evening of the event. Seating is limited.
Phoenix Books Burlington is located at 191 Bank Street. Copies of Raven Rock will be available for attendees to purchase and have signed. For more information, please call 802-448-3350 or visit www.phoenixbooks.biz (link is external).
About Phoenix Books:
Phoenix Books was established in 2007 on the principles of social responsibility, community, and sustainability, and is a proud member of Local First Vermont and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. Phoenix Books Essex, Phoenix Books Burlington, Phoenix Books Rutland and Phoenix Books Misty Valley are Vermont-owned, independent bookstores. Whenever possible, Phoenix Books sources eco-friendly products from Fair Trade/Green Certified companies. Seven Days readers voted Phoenix Books the "Best Bookstore" for the newspaper's 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Daysie Awards, and Rutland Herald readers voted Phoenix Books the 'Best Local Bookstore' for the newspaper's 2016 Best of the Best awards.