Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military (Neil deGrasse Tyson)

An article written by: Lee Sonogan

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Appearing on th Joe Rogan podcast I found out that Neil degrasse Tyson has a new book to sell. With Tyson appearing on the JRP last time I bought Astrophysics in a Hurry. Will I buy this new book too? Neil deGrasse Tyson and researcher Avis Lang examine how the technoques and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. “The overlap is strong, and the knowledge flows in both directions,” said the authors. This book will be released tommorow on the 11th of September.

While acknowledging how science has enabled war, as with the development of the atomic bomb, the authors debate. astrophysics can also be a way to peace. This book appeals to both military and science buffs alike. It is said to be well paced and skillfully written, the narrative seamlessly integrates science lessons, military strategy, and world history. “The universe is both the ultimate frontier and the highest of high grounds,” they write.

List of reviews and endorsement for this book:
  • “Throughout history, wars tend to be won by nations that are at the forefront of science. Thus astronomers and physicists have, since ancient times, benefited from an uneasy alliance with the military. This enlightening book explores the history and current implications of this partnership between space science and national security.” — Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and professor of history, Tulane University
  • “Accessory to War is not just about astrophysics. It is a readable account of the intersection between science and security policy, complete with historical background and personal insights and anecdotes from America’s most-trusted scientist. This is a much needed read for both policymakers and the public, who in ‘normal’ times know and care too little about science, but in today’s political climate increasingly show disdain for scientific principles that fail to fit their philosophical reality or political goals. Astrophysics is too often perceived as ‘not touching me or my life,’ but this book artfully explains otherwise.” — Joan Johnson-Freese, professor of national security affairs, Naval War College
  • “For anyone interested in the linkage between the missions of science and warfighting, this book is for you. I feel like I can tell the pages written by Dr. Tyson, and those written by Avis Lang. That may sound negative, but it’s not. I think the humor and perspective of Dr. Tyson comes through more with the contrast. Anyone interested in the early days of space (both military and civil) should give this a read for a sort of intro to the subject. That aside, the book doesn’t paint a poignant picture of the military as I expected. It’s not pro-war, and not 100% anti-military either. Unless you are Aunt Melissa, that is. Overall a good read that I felt compelled to read whenever I had time to do so. Will buy this when out in paperback to have at home for sure.” – Goodreads review, Jon Stone

At a price of 20 bucks you can free order it right now on Amazon. Next time I go to a book shop and see it somewhere then I might buy it. Or I might even listen to the audiobook when it comes out. 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. This book looks like it has more then enough subject that anyone can enjoy. I highly reccomend Tysons other books I have read and reviewed if you end up buying this book.

Here is some links to my book for sale:


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