by Ann E. Weiss ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 24, 1983
Fairly but firmly, Weiss (Tune In, Tune Out; The Separation of Church and State) explains every aspect of the nuclear arms race, 1945-1983, from opposing points of view. Insofar as Mutual Assured Deterrence is MADness, there is no question of her allegiance; but she prepares young people to debate the issues, not just on philosophical grounds, but on their merits. The contents: development of the A-bomb, and arguments for and against its use; the postwar Baruch Plan for unilateral (i.e., US) disarmament, and why the Soviets rejected it (US control, inspections, punishment); the H-bomb, pro and con; the spurious missile and bomber ""gaps""; Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), and other long-range weapons systems; Soviet acceptance of nuclear inspection vs. US rejection of disarmament in favor of deterrence; negotiations to assure parity--with the effect of escalating the race; US and Soviet arguments re current weapons levels and deployment; ways a nuclear war might start (false alarms, terrorism, small wars, spread of nuclear weapons); the utility/futility of civil defense measures; the anti-nuclear movement--in the US and Europe. As regards anti-nuclear activity, Weiss puts the leading questions point blank. ""Is it Unpatriotic?"" ""What About Deterrence?"" ""What About a Freeze?"" She notes some Communist involvement in European anti-nuclear activity; she notes that the Soviets applaud; she notes that they repress anti-nuclear demonstrations at home. ""But this is just one of many ugly facts about the Soviet Union, which is a totalitarian nation,"" Up-to-the-minute, she expresses public suspicions of Reagan's recent zero-option and one-third-reduction proporsls--noting, once again, that the Soviet counterproposals weren't ""simple or straightforward"" either. Included also are careful examinations of both the American Catholic bishops' stand, and the ex-diplomats' advocacy of no-first-strike. Invaluable in the classroom, or to make sense of the daily paper.
Pub Date: Oct. 24, 1983
Page Count: -
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1983
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