mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


Nuclear, Inc.: The Men and Money Behind Nuclear Energy

After a series of nuclear accidents, large and small, the impression has been growing among Americans that the nuclear industry is all but dead. No one, however, has convinced the industry, and in fact nothing at this time could be further from the truth. This book for the first time explains why the industry is alive and kicking, lays bare its intricate financial structure, and investigates the group of men behind it, that intimate brotherhood of corporate and government leaders who, convinced of their own best intentions, are proceeding to sell the earth’s tomorrow for today’s dollar.

Mark Hertsgaard spent three years conducting his research in the halls of the industry itself, gaining access to private corporate libraries and once-secret papers, and speaking with industry financial analysts and consultants. Most important and surprising, he conducted interviews with scores of Washington sources and key top-level nuclear corporate executives, who speak here about their goals, tactics, rationales, and strategies for the future, though many have never before spoken on the record. Their frankness and revelations are often startling.

Presenting all the facts and weighing all the arguments, both pro and con, pointing out where each is misguided, contradictory, founded in misinformation, a desire for self-aggrandizement or lies, Hertsgaard leads us cooly to an understanding of the business of nuclear power that allows us at least to make our independent and informed judgments about it.



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Latest Book


By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did: leak top secret documents revealing that the US government was spying on hundreds of millions of people around the world. But if you want to know why Snowden did it, the way he did it, you need to know the stories of two other men.

The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same surveillance ten years before Snowden did and got crushed. The other is The Third Man, a former senior Pentagon official who comes forward in this book for the first time to describe how his superiors repeatedly broke the law to punish Drakeā€”and unwittingly taught Snowden how to evade their clutches.

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About Mark

Independent journalist Mark Hertsgaard is the author of seven books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden; HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth; and A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. He has reported from twenty-five countries about politics, culture and the environment for leading outlets, including The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Time, Mother Jones, NPR, the BBC and The Nation, where is the environment correspondent. He lives in San Francisco.