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This book is a classic about the Cold War and nuclear catastrophe. I think it might be best read paired up with "On the Beach" (different author). They both address the same topic, but from much different perspectives. In "Fail Safe", we see the horror of war from the point of view of those people trying to stop the horror from happening. In "On the Beach", we get to know a group of individuals who continue to live their lives, as long as possible, after the horror--the life of "everyman", after nuclear war.