THAT MAD GAME: War and the Chances for Peace by James D. Forman

THAT MAD GAME: War and the Chances for Peace

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Using a wider angle than did Cox in his analysis of the arms race (Overkill, 1978), Forman too begins with a history of warfare from prehistoric times--and then goes back to the first recorded pacifist statement (made by an Egyptian pharaoh about 1360 B.C.) and traces the varieties of that movement to the present. Starting with the assumption that the bomb makes peace synonymous with human survival, he examines such topics as aggression in human nature, the psychological highs of battle, pack allegiance, the psychology of leaders, the military-industrial complex, and the pliability of public opinion. He ends with an optimistic but honest assessment of the chances for ""some form of world congress"" (""No doubt the idea is Utopian, but what is the choice?""), with suggestions for how it might come about. This includes a pro-and-con discussion of channeling aggression into sports, a call for an end to economic protectionism, and, surprisingly, a view of multinational corporations as a force for sanity and peace. All of this is very general (there's barely a mention, for example, of Middle Eastern oil), and when Forman does come forth with answers and conclusions they often seem insufficiently supported. But he offers a wide range of approaches to the question of why men and nations go to war, and so the book might be a springboard for inquiry in several directions.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1980
Publisher: Scribners