THE ANTI-NUCLEAR HANDBOOK by Stephen Croall

THE ANTI-NUCLEAR HANDBOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This satirical comic book on the dangers of nuclear power is complicated by a heavy-handed Marxist message. British journalist Stephen Croall and American cartoonist Kaianders--both living in Sweden--take us quickly from the discovery of nuclear fission, through the Manhattan Project (""Don't bother me with your conscientious scruples,"" says one figure, ""the thing's superb physics!""), the China Syndrome (reactor core meltdown), fast breeder reactors (portrayed as bunnies), and more. We learn that nuclear weapons can be made from the fissionable materials in commercial reactors, and that by 1990, nearly 70 countries will have these reactors, 17 of them in the Third World. (French and German officers are pictured saying ""We'll deal with anyone,"" as they hand over nuclear materials to Libyans and South Africans.) The overriding message is that private corporations are dangerous and omnipotent: the oil companies, we are told, purposely depleted the oilfields so that prices would rise and nuclear power would become profitable. And the plug for alternative energy sources (sun and wind, for example) carries a reminder that ""the struggle for a soft energy future must be linked with the struggle for political change""--presided over, presumably, by ""the wise old ideological fathers of socialism,"" Marx and Engels. The anti-nuclear arguments come across in this format, but the politics of energy calls for more finesse.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1979
Publisher: Pantheon