A Novel of the Cold War
By Craig Eisendrath
"A FLAT-OUR ROCKET RIDE..."
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They once had power--all four of them--and they enjoyed it. Now, in the heat of the Vietnam conflict, they're on the fringes of government, relegated to participating in a war game, trying out moves that mimic reality rather than making policy. Yet, they tell themselves, this game is important. It will help the government avoid a false step that could launch nuclear terror.
The crisis they must deal with is a Chinese Communist thrust into Thailand and a Soviet attempt to take over Iran. But the four players-a former assistant secretary of state and Strategic Air Command pilot, a former effete ambassador, a philandering law professor, and a corrupt former U.S. senator-desperately want this game to be real, and they play it as if it were.
Soon they're obsessed, as their wives begin to realize. Each move becomes a personal commitment, not just an exercise. Reality and game-playing blur. Before long, these four members of the State Department team are deep in conflict with a more aggressive team from the Defense Department. As they continue to explore their strategies, they reveal their deepest secrets and ambitions, and in the end they have to face the fact that they are real human beings--not just players in a game.
CRAIG EISENDRATH served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, working in the area of outer space and nuclear disarmament. With a Ph.D. from Harvard University, he became a college dean and then head of the state humanities council in Pennsylvania. Today, he is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, a Washington, D.C. think tank, and the author of several books on international affairs, including The Phantom Defense: America's Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion. Eisendrath also writes plays, most recently The Angel of History, which tells the dramatic story of a resistance fighter against the Nazis and her heroic attempt to rescue a famous philosopher.
PRAISE FOR CRISIS GAME:
Steve Zettler, author of The Second Man and Double Identity says: "Crisis Game is a flat-out rocket ride; giving new and intensified meaning to both crisis and game. When does the crisis end and the game begin? More crucial, when does the game end and the crisis begin? Eisendrath's style is thoroughly engrossing. Characters seemingly leap from the pages, struggling to match wits and backbone with the best and the brightest; but unable, or more likely, unwilling to escape from either the game or the crisis they have created. How cold was the Cold War...? You're about to find out."
Cordelia Frances Biddle, author of Beneath the Wind reports: "Craig Eisendrath shows us insider Washington in a dangerously isolationist mode where global politics become 'games' enacted by players with nothing to lose. Reading Eisendrath's tale of the Cold War, one wonders what lessons--if any--our present leaders have learned."
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