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Martin WalkerThere is little in Schell's book that is new, but his careful assembly of the available evidence will scare the pants off most readers. And so it should.
—The New York Times
Continuing themes of his previous books (e.g., The Unconquerable World; The Fate of the Earth), Schell presents a history of the nuclear age since the earliest days of the Cold War. Today, he says, the issue of nuclear armament is complicated by the possibility of weapons or their component materials, falling into the hands of terrorist organizations. He provides a thorough background to developments in the 15-year post-Cold War period, examining why total disarmament of nuclear weapons did not occur, and describing how he feels the Bush administration has used the 9/11 terrorist attacks to justify a change in U.S. philosophy regarding use of nuclear force. Schell advocates elimination of nuclear weapons by global agreement to solve current global tensions over nuclear proliferation and expansion. Drawing extensively on details of the 1986 Reykjavík summit, he shows why there are no longer clear reasons to maintain nuclear arsenals and points out their serious risks to humankind. As in his previous books, however, he sometimes overlooks the realities that will probably prevent his optimistic solution from coming to fruition. Recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with large current events collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ5/1/07.]
“In yet another tour de force, Jonathan Schell, our chronicler as conscience, addresses the salient fact of the era—that amid the ultimate terror of nuclear weapons, Americans live under one of the most heedless and dangerous governments in history. Once again, Schell honors us with a profound warning. Our consummate shame is that we do nothing about it.”—Roger Morris, author of Taking Comfort
"Jonathan Schell has written a courageous book, a clarion call for the world to stop its drift toward 'nuclear anarchy'—which cannot occur absent a radical change in U. S. nuclear policy.”—Andrew J. Bacevich, author of The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War
"No voice is as clear, no mind is as sharp, and no writings about nuclear weapons have been as perceptive as Jonathan Schell's books and articles since 1982. Now, in The Seventh Decade, Schell once again reveals in lucid prose the most inconvenient truth: the nuclear weapons policies of our government endanger our security, our planet and the very existence of our specie. This is a book that every responsible voter should read before November 2008.”—Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer prize-winning author of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
Posted December 13, 2009
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