Kirkus Star


Email this review


Official ranks may close and a curtain of silence be drawn over the subject of this book, and bitter attack from high places is almost certain. But it should be brought to the attention of all citizens concerned in the legality and morality of nuclear testing. For here, with a calm, dignified approach, the story is told of how one healthy, happy American family came close to the tragedy of martyrdom, because they had decided to put to legal test the ruling that the Pacific nuclear test zone was ""off limits"" to American nationals. Dr. Reynolds, a physical anthropologist and radiation genetics specialist, his wife, son and daughter, and a Japanese friend, returning from the doctor's work for the AEC Atom Bomb Casualty Commission in Hiroshima, were in the last leg of a round-the-world yacht voyage, when they were confronted with the dilemma of entering the zone- or taking a long detour. At once, their decision made, they were set upon by Coast Guard and other officials, their boat boarded and Dr. Reynolds arrested and their yacht was forced back to Hawaii. The next two years were swallowed up in a ludicrous juridical marathon, which received little attention in the American press, but was considered vitally important elsewhere, and contributed a great deal to altering world public opinion concerning every aspect of the problem. Finally, the AEC ruling restricting the test zone was declared invalid, the judgment against Dr. Reynolds set aside. The Forbidden Voyage is an extraordinary example of an expert's ability to communicate to the layman the very core of his thinking. Most readers will experience a horrifying mixture of awe, wrath, concern- along with contempt for the conditions imposed on the Reynolds. Much of the content of the book is news -- and should open the eyes of the public to ""the formidable power of the AEC, strong enough to .....stage manage an ostensibly objective inquiry into truth....

Publisher: McKay