FROM HIROSHIMA TO GLASNOST: A Memoir of Five Perilous Decades by Paul H. with Steven L. Rearden & Ann M. Smith Nitze

FROM HIROSHIMA TO GLASNOST: A Memoir of Five Perilous Decades

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A preeminent figure in Washington and a key policymaker, Nitze here provides a memoir with a sweeping inside view of key post-1945 foreign-policy events--the Marshall Plan, Berlin blockade, H-bomb decision, Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, SALT I and II, INF and SDI--but the writing is as factually dull as a briefing paper. Nitze relates his early background only briefly and concentrates on his long years of public service. Born in 1907 in Amherst, educated at Harvard, an investment banker in the 1930's, Nitze entered public service during WW II, working for most subsequent Presidents, including Bush, for whom he is a top arms negotiator. Major policy-making events of his career range from the 1940's US Strategic Bombing Survey to the arms accords of 1970's and 1980's. Nitze played key roles in the 1972 SALT I and 1979 SALT II negotiations, the results of which represented the first steps in exerting control over the nuclear arms race. A tough negotiator, deeply knowledgeable about the intricacies of arms, Nitze felt the Soviets gained the most from SALT I in that is recognized their existing lead in missiles but that, with the US also winning key concessions, the final result was worthwhile. SALT II, on the other hand, gave Nitze doubts, and he recommended changes to the US Senate, which never ratified it. Regarding the INF negotiations of the 1980's, Nitze here reveals details of his famous ""walk in the woods"" with his Soviet counterpart, Yuli Kvitsinskiy. In the five Summits of the Reagan years, Nitze proved to be a strong backer of SDI, and he does not believe its theoretical development and testing are in conflict with the first SALT agreement. Gorbachev, he feels, has great ""tactical brilliance"" in foreign policy but is much less effective domestically. An important, up-close account that's nearly spoiled by its wooden style.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson