WAR AND/OR SURVIVAL by William V. O'Brien


Email this review


If the world cannot survive with war, it will not survive,"" Professor O'Brien writes, ""for the 'elimination' of war and replacement of the present system are not in prospect."" This, of course, is realpolitik and O'Brien takes on the legal and moral problems involved in regulating and limiting war. A professor of government at Georgetown University and president of the Catholic Association for International Peace, O'Brien argues from a forthrightly Catholic perspective, although he calls the Church's recent proclamation of the end of war ""well-intentioned nonsense."" Starting with an assessment of contemporary Church teaching on war, deterrence and revolution, he continues with the similar views of other idealists, counters with the realist view. He next offers ""moral guidelines"" to war and arms control, summarizes the progress, and the objectives. Finally, there is a chapter on the laws of war (napalm is legal though immoral). O'Brien makes use of the latest political science concepts and terminology to treat an essentially moral problem. This is the book's main value in addition to its considered view. Unfortunately, the dense prose will put off many prospective readers.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1969
Publisher: Doubleday