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Professor Edward Teller, the nuclear scientist who was a prominent figure in this country's development of the hydrogen bomb, is today the chief scientist protagonist (on our side) of a ""hard"" line on nuclear testing and armaments. Hungarian born, Teller had to leave his own country when it became Nazi controlled. His view of the present world crisis is very much coloured by his personal experience; he believes an exact analogy can be drawn between the expansionism of Nazi Germany and that of modern Russia. Since disarmament was a mistake in the thirties, he believes that anything other than a full-speed-ahead armaments program would be a mistake now. In his view, the United States should not have suspended nuclear tests, since the fall-out danger is exaggerated, and since more tests are needed for the development of smaller, tactical nuclear weapons with which to fight a limited nuclear war -- a nuclear Korea, which he believes entirely possible. Moreover, Professor Teller believes we should be willing to face the prospect of an all-out nuclear war as an instrument of national policy, that extensive civil defense programs should be effected, including the storing of obsolete machinery (against the day when our industrial plant is destroyed) and the building of fall-out shelters. He proposes that if the people who came out of the shelters (and he believes there would be some) lived under military rule for, say, five years, everything afterwards could and most likely would go back to normal -- including our democratic system. He does not tell us whether the cold war would be back to normal, too. His book, written in a rather obvious journalistic style, states his views clearly but caricatures the views of those who oppose him. Hence it lacks the seriousness and objectivity which the subject demands.

Pub Date: March 2nd, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday