Author Brian J. Morra

Reviews

“It must be really hard to write a thriller when the readers know how the story is going to end; nevertheless, Brian Morra does just that in The Able Archers….The book chronicles a dismaying, but real, sequence of geopolitical events between July and November of 1983…Only the end of the world didn’t happen. It’s still here, and that’s the appeal and the underlying strength of this book as it leads the reader on a fictional journey through the historical facts to reveal not only how, but why the world didn’t end. While it could properly be considered a military thriller, the book also embraces several literary genres including Cold War thriller, historical fiction, and disaster thriller. A manmade disaster in this case, one narrowly averted thanks to the characters (some real, some fictional) who carry the story and propel it so effectively that the reader quickly loses sight of the distinction between the real and the fictional as they merge into a cohesive and immersive narrative…. As compelling as it is informative and as entertaining as it is terrifying, the novel The Able Archers is a great read and highly recommended.”
New York Journal of Books (read full review)

“Set during the Cold War, when few people understand just how close the world is to nuclear annihilation, two men, one American and the other Soviet strive to prevent global nuclear war. The stakes could not be any higher, and the world view of these two men could not be any more different. Yet, the relationship between the two men leads them to common ground, allowing them to work together and find a way to avoid nuclear Armageddon. The story plays out from the skies over Siberia to the gritty, dangerous streets of East Berlin and reveals an unknown history everyone needs to read. Morra provides evocative details in an easy-to-read narrative. The book is full of lessons that apply today when Vladimir Putin, the totalitarian leader of a country with a GDP the size of Spain’s, holds nuclear weapons over the heads of world leaders while destroying a thriving Ukrainian democracy. This book is a must-read, and I hope that future books by this talented author will use history to help us understand our world today.”
—Harvard Veterans Alumni Organization

Praise

“Occasionally, a work of fiction is best suited to bring little-known but dangerous historical events to life. In the fall of 1983, Soviet leaders apparently became deeply worried that the U.S. was preparing to launch a surprise nuclear attack on the USSR under the cover of a NATO exercise titled ‘Able Archer.’ Brian Morra’s novel The Able Archers builds a tension-packed story around those events and paints a cast of heroic figures on both sides who prevent a global catastrophe. While a gripping work of fiction, The Able Archers is a powerful reminder of the value of human judgment—and the continuing peril posed by nuclear-armed powers.”
—Robert M. Gates, CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence 1982-1986, Director of Central Intelligence 1991-1993, and Secretary of Defense 2006-2011

“Brian J. Morra is ‘the master craftsman’. The Able Archers is brilliant.”
—William S. Cohen, former Secretary of Defense

“Brian Morra’s historical thriller is a fast-paced ride through one of the worst crisis periods of the Cold War. Replete with colorful American and Russian characters, The Able Archers is a terrifying yet factual story of how a few people prevented a global nuclear war. It’s frighteningly relevant to today’s fraught geo-political scene—one of the must-read novels of 2022!”
—Jack Carr, former Navy SEAL Sniper and #1 New York Times bestselling author of In the Blood

“A brilliant thriller full of practical lessons for policy-makers… A seamless blend of carefully researched history and a fascinating cast of both real and fictional characters…”
—Admiral James Stavridis, USN (ret),  16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO

“The publication of The Able Archers is exceptionally timely as America faces a return to the Cold War and a possible stand-off with our nuclear capable adversaries. While this is a fictionalized account of a real-world incident that took place during the 1983 NATO exercise Able Archer, it demonstrates the absolutely real possibilities of mismanagement and misjudgment. This would have been an amazing book in 1983 but in 2022 it is much more important. The Able Archers is possibly the most important book to be published this year.”
—General Bryan Doug Brown, USA (ret), 7th Commander US Special Operations Command

“Brilliant and riveting combination of action and suspense, written by one who captures so many details it’s easy to imagine the writer might have participated in a similar series of events years ago. Brian Morra’s spell-binding tale grips the reader from page one through the twists and turns of spy craft and kinetic military activity to a surprising and satisfying conclusion. First-rate work by a skillful author.”
—Admiral Timothy J. Keating, USN (ret), former commander of Pacific Command and Northern Command

“Told through characters you really care about, this is a book about one of the least-known and most-important national security crises in our history. And what could possibly be more timely than a tale of U.S.-Russian misunderstanding putting the world at risk? Brian J. Morra knows the Able Archers story because he lived it, and he tells it in vivid, compelling, and frightening detail—with wit and humanity. Bravo!”
—The Honorable James K. Glassman, former Undersecretary of State, distinguished journalist, and best-selling author

“Few know about the inner workings of superpower brinksmanship between the United States and the Soviet Union for over 40 years after World War Two. Miscues and misunderstandings threatened to erupt regularly in outright hostilities. Brian Morra’s novel Abler Archers addresses a time of particular global danger in 1983, when National Leaders failed to understand how political and military actions were mis-read by the other side. Brian places the reader inside the interaction between dedicated military officers on both sides, who discovered and understood the danger of military confrontation between the major powers, and sought to defuse the situation at great personal risk. Brian’s settings, scenes and characters are absolutely authentic and can send shivers up the spines of those who were there and will never forget those events of 40 years ago. His characters are human, and have the best traits of compassion and dedication, that make this book interesting and accessible to a great variety of readers. There is a lesson here for our times, when we seem again to be unable to communicate with our adversaries. Hopefully dedicated professionals will form bonds of trust across national barriers and see us through difficult times.”
—Larry Cox, Intelligence Officer, Professional Staff Member of the House Intelligence Committee, Defense and Intelligence Corporate Executive & Technical Entrepreneur

“If you like action packed adventure based on true events, you’ll love The Able Archers by Brian Morra… Set during the Cold War when few people understand just how close the world is to nuclear annihilation, two men, one American and the other Soviet, strive to prevent global nuclear war. The stakes couldn’t be any higher, and the world view of these two men couldn’t be any more different. Even so, the relationship between the two men leads them to common ground, allowing them to work together and find a way to avoid nuclear Armageddon… The story plays out from the skies over Siberia to the gritty, dangerous streets of East Berlin and reveals an unknown history everyone needs to read. Morra provides evocative details in any easy to read narrative. The book is full of lessons that apply to today when Vladimir Putin, the totalitarian leader of a country with a GDP the size of Spain’s, holds nuclear weapons over the heads of world leaders while destroying a thriving Ukrainian democracy… This is a must read, and I hope that future books by this talented author will use history to help us understand our world today.”
—Samuel C. Mahaney, Maj Gen, USAF (Retired), Harvard Veterans Association Historian

“The applicability of this book to the present-day Russia-Ukraine war is significant. I can see many of the themes woven into the storyline in the current crisis: strong leadership, differing narratives between great powers, escalating tension, fog and friction, and the importance of personal relationships… The Able Archers was a fun, informative, engaging, thrilling, and also disconcerting book all wrapped up in an easy to read 296 pages. In the end, it is really hard to say how close the United States and Soviet Union came to all out nuclear war during the lead up to or during the 1983 NATO Able Archer exercise. Unless we can get into Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov’s mind, we will never fully know. My main takeaway from the book is reaffirmation of the critical role of military and intelligence professionals who serve daily to secure and protect the United States during all phases of crisis, especially when most are at stake.”
—Col Christopher P. Mulder, USAF

The Able Archers is a truly gripping account of one of the most dangerous episodes of the Cold War. Brian Morra’s fiction is deeply embedded in historical fact and reveals how near to the brink the Cold War adversaries really came in November 1983.”
—Taylor Downing, historian and author of 1983: Reagan, Andropov and a World on the Brink

“It must be really hard to write a thriller when the readers know how the story is going to end; nevertheless, Brian Morra does just that in The Able Archers. The appeal and the underlying strength of The Able Archers is that it leads the reader on a fictional journey through the historical facts to reveal not only how, but why the world didn’t end.”
—Tom Strelich, award-winning author of Dog Logic: a novel

“ … a brilliant, fictionalized account of a critical time in global history when the world teetered on the verge of catastrophe.”
—Carole P. Roman, award-winning author

“… any curriculum for crisis management planning would do well to include Brian Morra’s insightful novel which looks at the crisis that brought us close to war in 1983.”
—Dr. Robbin F. Laird, editor and author (read full essay)

The Able Archers is not only exceptionally entertaining and engrossing but it is a primer and a must read for the average person to understand what really happens in a world where the nexus of the military, politics, diplomacy, and human drama in complex and sometimes frightening ways.”
—Jeffrey “Skunk” Baxter, Grammy Award winner and defense consultant

“Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD, Brinksmanship. These are the terms, thought processes, and policies that controlled the actions of political and military leaders during the Cold War between the West (NATO and the U.S.) and the then Soviet Union. Brian Morra’s thrilling book The Able Archers takes actual incidences which occurred during the early to mid-1980s and shows how close the world came to nuclear annihilation by following such policies as MAD. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed over paranoia and stubbornness, and the world as we know it still exists today. Morra does a masterful job in recreating the events which led us to the edge of nuclear Armageddon. The Able Archers is not for the faint hearted but is a must read for those who want to know how tenuous the existence of our world is in the nuclear age. Highly recommended.”
—Samuel G. Tooma, Oceanographer and Author

“I was on watch with these able archers while reading several nights into morning, on edge to learn the outcome of every development. Real life always provides the best drama. Telling the story needs a careful narrator. Brian Morra focuses on the skilled players on both sides of the US-Soviet power dance, keeping the details simple, direct, revealing. He helps us see the madness of listening to your own beliefs instead of the saving grace of allowing for all the facts and possibilities to govern decisions. We can feel the urgency and risk. No surprise that this has been picked up for a film/series. I’m eager to experience again on the screen and read the next historical fiction by Morra.”
—Madeline, Goodreads reviewer

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