Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base - Annie   Jacobsen When this was first recommended to me, I was afraid it would be another UFO conspiracy tome. It is far from that. Of course, the author does give her attention to the UFO theories surrounding the mysterious Area 51 and, in the first chapters, teases us with the promise of an explanation. By the last chapter, we get that explanation and it is more mind-boggling and disturbing than any UFO theory could be.

But while that may be the author's most sensational claim, this is a book about the real importance of Area 51 bolstered by eye-witness testimony and a bevy of newly unclassified material. It becomes apparent that Area 51 with all its top secret activities managed to involve itself in practically every major espionage and military event and crisis we know of since the 1950s...and many we did not know of until now.

This book is more than a history of Area 51. It is an examination of cold wart politics and military rivals during the cold wars and how our paranoia affected the leaders of our country. It is a history of a dark period in history and one that still continues with different players. It is unquestionable that many of the experimental projects of Area 51 were essential to our country. But it is also scary just how many of these experiments came very close to national catastrophe. Area 51 is essential reading for 20th century history buffs and my pick for best non-fiction book of 2011.