The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump

The Button

The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump

As we approach an historic election during a time of unprecedented sociopolitical strife, we must realize that the threat posed by nuclear weapons and US nuclear policy is still with us; in fact, it is a bigger threat than ever before. The severity of this nuclear threat is explored in great detail in The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump, a timely and important book that former President Bill Clinton says “every citizen should read.”


The Button is a fascinating narrative of our living nuclear history—one in which the players hold the fate of the whole world at their fingertips—and a look at presidential power from Truman to Trump.  Enjoy the video above, and order the book today on

Written by former Secretary of Defense and Stanford professor of international relations William J. Perry and Ploughshares Fund policy director Tom Collina, The Button offers crucial insight into the policies and politics surrounding our nuclear arsenal, and explains why—and how—we must take action now to change these policies and avoid nuclear annihilation. Against a backdrop of landmark international arms treaties like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (known colloquially as the Iran Nuclear Agreement), the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the Open Skies Treaty being undermined or violated by the Donald Trump administration, The Button is a wake-up call that our nation needs more than ever.

The world is starting to take notice of the threat posed by US nuclear policy. Read op-eds and coverage of The Button below:

Previous events are available for viewing below:

“Our nuclear weapons policy is obsolete and dangerous. I know, because I helped to design it, and we have to change it before it is too late,” said Secretary Perry when asked why he decided to write this book.

Secretary Perry served as the 19th US Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton, and is a professor of international relations at Stanford University. He is an expert in US foreign policy, national security and arms control. In 2013 he founded the William J. Perry Project, a non-profit effort to educate the public on the current dangers of nuclear weapons.

“The Cold War ended thirty years ago. There is no longer a real risk of surprise attack, if there ever was,” said Collina, when asked for his reasoning behind the need to change US nuclear policy. “Today, right now, President Trump has sole authority to launch one thousand nuclear weapons…we are putting the lives of hundreds of millions of people at risk — for no good reason.”

As policy director of Ploughshares Fund, Collina has 30 years of experience in nuclear weapons, missile defense and nonproliferation issues. He has published widely in major magazines and journals and has appeared frequently in the national media, including The New York Times, CNN, and NPR. He has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and regularly briefs congressional staff.

You can order The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump on


To schedule an interview with Tom Collina and William J. Perry, please contact Delfin Vigil at

Just ordered #TheButton by @SecDef19 and @TomCollina.

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