Out of a series of radio broadcasts comes the most comprehensive in outline as well as the most urgent in outlook of the recent books on the population explosion. The subtitle -- ""The Modern World at the Edge of Famine"" -- gives fair warning of the tone, yet readers may still be shocked when told that we are all ""insanely"" trying to ""talk ourself out of reality."" The charge is repeated with increasing stridency on nearly every page: ""the rising flood of people threatens to deprive the human race of its future,"" and there is very little time left even to attempt to avert this threat. The author presents a stunning demonstration of population growth rates, investigates nutritional matters, proceeds on a whirlwind tour, country by country, of Asia, the Soviet Union and Latin America. Then U.S. food production is approached and present surpluses dismissed as no more than ""a brief episode."" Prospects do not appreciably brighten with possible solutions-cultivation of the sea and creation of synthetic foods. The final chapter, ""Foodor Moon Rockets,"" emphasizes the critical aspect of the situation. The Malthusian outlook has seldom had a more effective spokesman.