Red Alert By Peter Bryant

This 1958 novel is the basis for the classic Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Telling the story of a society on the precipice of nuclear war in the late fifties, this novel is a telling illustration of the impact of the nuclear threat on everyday life.


Peter Bryant

Peter Bryant was the pen-name of author Peter George. George's reputation rests largely on his novel Red Alert and the screenplay of the film that it inspired, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying, which George co-wrote with Stanley Kubrick and Terry Southern. A pessimistic Englishman deeply committed to the campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s, George has previously served in the Royal Air Force. He drew on this first-hand knowledge of the new age of nuclear defense and felt compelled to publish under a pseudonym. With the interest in such stories peaking around the time of Stanley Kramer's film version of On the Beach in 1959, the film rights to Red Alert were sold that same year but only to be handed off from producer to producer until Stanley Kubrick bought the rights in 1962, reportedly for as little as $3,500.In the beginning, George collaborated with Kubrick on writing the film's script; Terry Southern's involvement and satirical overhaul would come later. Apparently, George disliked the ironic tone of Kubrick's film, though he wrote a new novelization of it that he directed to the director.For the rest of his life, the threat of nuclear catastrophe continued to haunt George. He later wrote about life after nuclear war in a book entitled Commander-I and was at work on a novel entitled Nuclear Survivors when he ultimately committed suicide in 1966.

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