Book Review: Nuclear War Survival Skills

Nuclear War Survival Skills, by Cresson H Kearny, is a book that changed my life. No really… Back in college I had a substantial break between two classes. This left me time to use. And having a collegiate library to browse I went there often.

I found all kinds of books, and read a lot of them. Then I found this book on nuclear war survival skills. It was in the reference section and could not be checked out. The book the library had was the 1987 edition, and there have been updates since. I sat down with this book numerous times, and absorbed its wealth information.

What struck me most when reading the book was that much of the knowledge it imparts destroys the popular fatalist narrative. What are we told of nuclear war? One most popular viewpoint says there is no point of preparing for nuclear war because everyone will die if it happens.

One of the main points of this very informative book is this: much of the population will survive a nuclear attack. Would you prefer to die from fallout or starvation? Neither? Then you might want to take a look at this book. The book is a fascinating read. And it is organized in a straight forward manner and is packed with easy to understand information.

This book’s survival outlook really made an impression. Since I have continued to cultivate a survival mindset, I’m continually reminded that its call for preparation is a key principle for survival no matter the scenario.


The book is a treasure trove of how-to details about sheltering in the event of nuclear war. Principles of how to shelter and how to construct shelter are well described. Scenarios describing the nature of radio active fallout are well covered Detailed appendices provide plans and construction ideas for expedient fallout shelters. Expedient filtering of air and water is also covered.

Obtaining your copy

When I found the college’s tattered copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills, I was concerned I’d found a difficult book to obtain. Fortunately my concerns were unfounded. The book was not too difficult to obtain at that time, and it is much easier to find now.

The information is online. A free online copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills can be found here. I’d recommend obtaining a hard copy though. The information is valuable and a hard copy works when power is out and cell towers are dead. A number of retailers offer the book, and prices are reasonable. I highly recommend it.

If you want to support our site you can get your hard copy here on Amazon:

Nuclear War Survival Skills – Updated and Expanded Edition

Updated Red Dog 2012 Edition (Nuclear War Survival Skills)

Also, I recommend having a look at my recent article on Surviving Nuclear Attack: Duck and Cover. In the article I address ideas to improve your chances of survival in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear attack.

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Dave is a seasoned law enforcement officer with years of sworn experience. Dave is also a competitive shooter, firearms instructor, enthusiast and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner. Dave has been actively cultivating personal preparedness since the early 2000's.

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