Reed, Thomas C. 1934-

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REED, Thomas C. 1934-


Born 1934, in New York, NY. Education: Cornell University, B.S., 1956; University of Southern California, M.S.


Agent—Ballantine Books, c/o Author Mail, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.


U.S. Air Force, 1956-61; served with Ballistic Missile Division and later with Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, University of California; Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, consultant, 1961-67; Supercon Ltd., Houston, TX, managing partner, beginning 1962; Quaker Hill Development Corporation, San Rafael, CA, treasurer, president, and chairman, beginning 1965; U.S. Department of Defense, assistant to secretary and deputy secretary of defense, beginning 1973; eleventh secretary of U.S. Air Force during the administration of President Gerald Ford; member of National Security Council, 1982-83.


At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War, introduction by President George H. W. Bush, Presidio Press (New York, NY), 2004.


Thomas C. Reed has spent his career involved in the military and the sciences, serving active duty with the U.S. Air Force for five years and developing nuclear weapons technology in the 1960s. His civilian career pursuits included organizing Supercon, Ltd., which developed alloys superconducting at cryogenic temperatures, and Quaker Hill Development Corporation, which pursued agricultural, recreational, and construction projects. He has been involved with a number of Republican Party administrations, serving as secretary of the U.S. Air Force during the Ford administration and sitting on the National Security Council during the Reagan administration.

In 2004, Reed drew upon his extensive insider knowledge of the military, government, and nuclear weapons development to write At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War. The book serves partially as an autobiography and partially as a review and analysis of U.S. history during the post-World War II era. Of particular interest is the information Reed provides about former President Ronald Reagan and Reagan's role in ending the cold war that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union during the second half of the twentieth century. Sea Power contributor David Munns wrote, "In a revelatory account of this period, Reed provides his insider's perspective on the strategic battle that guilefully prevented what could have become World War III, a battle wrought with the threat of nuclear devastation." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that At the Abyss "offer[s] a viewpoint on the Cold War not nearly sufficiently well-represented in the public literature: that neither the U.S. nor Soviet sciences were dominated by stereotypical, bomb-happy maniacs."



Reed, Thomas C., At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War, Presidio Press (New York, NY), 2004.


Booklist, March 1, 2004, Gilbert Taylor, review of At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War, p. 1124.

Library Journal, February 15, 2004, Ed Goedeken, review of At the Abyss, p. 142.

Publishers Weekly, February 9, 2004, review of At the Abyss, p. 73.

Sea Power, April, 2004, David Munns, review of At the Abyss, p. 66.

United States Naval Institute Proceedings, June, 2004, Richard Seamon, review of At the Abyss, p. 88.

Washington Post, February 27, 2004, David E. Hoffman, "Reagan Approved Plan to Sabotage Soviets; Book Recounts Cold War Program That Made Technology Go Haywire," section A, p. 1.


U.S. Air Force Web site, (October 6, 2004), "Thomas C. Reed."*