Mr. Rothschild's subject is the use of poison gas and germ warfare, and from the beginning he makes it quite clear that he is for such weapons, at least to the extent that he is for war. The arguments against, on humane or any other grounds, are disposed of with an intimidatingly brisk manner which dedicated opponents will no doubt judge as insolent. Yet this author is no vulgar bomb-monger; his logic is fine but not necessarily specious, and his survey of the development of military taboos, like the one against gassing, is as instructive as it is unique. Then he proceeds to an examination of available chemical agents of death and disability and their strategic--and moral- advantages over more conventional means of destruction. The final section of the volume is devoted to a ""comprehensive system"" for stage-by-stage disarmament, to be accompanied by the formation of an ""invincible peace force"" under the control of the U.N. In the welter of current studies and proposals in this area, Mr. Rothschild has presented a great many insights and suggestions deserving special attention.