As I’ve said many times, my personal favorite post-apocalyptic scenario is “good old fashioned nuclear war.” I’ve also mentioned that I’m old enough that my love of the genre started in the 70s and solidified with the many nuclear war books and films we got in the 80s.

Both of those explain why I was so excited to discover what appears to be a forgotten classic of the post-nuclear war genre, Pulling Through by Dean Ing.

Published in 1983, Pulling Through is a quick read at just over 140 pages. It’s the story of Harve Rackham and his family as they do what they can to survive in the days following a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia.

In addition to being a New York Times bestselling author, Dean Ing also wrote several non-fiction articles for survivalist newsletters and publications, and he includes a lot of what we would now refer to as “prepper” information in the story.

But those details aren’t blatant exposition like you see in some prepper fiction, and they add to the story rather than detracting from it. Ing saves the explicit explanation of how to survive a nuclear war for the second half of the book with 120 pages of detailed charts, diagrams, and instructions for things like how to build a fallout meter or a hand-pumped air filtration system for your shelter.

So, whether you’re fan of fictional survival stories, or if you’re interested in the real-life practical aspects of surviving an apocalypse, Pulling Through can scratch both itches.

And reading it won’t cost you anything either; the folks at the Internet Archive were nice enough to digitize the entire book, and make it available in multiple formats.

Read the pdf below, or head over to for other downloads.