This historical work is both more and less than its subtitle indicates. Stylishly written, it offers as much interpretation as chronology. The first three decades of the nuclear age are viewed within the context of the writings of Clausewitz and Bernard Brodie. Yet Mandelbaum gives so much credit for strategic doctrine and arms control innovations to the Kennedy-McNamara years (which take up more than half the book), that the next 13 years are seen as "a series of footnotes to the Kennedy Administration." To many, this will be a debatable proposition.