This thoughtful volume, essayish in nature, identifies and discusses seven "conditions" of the nuclear era. One is national character: the Russian character being marked by pervasive insecurity; the American by a sort of duality, seeking to be second to none in military power and at the same time the principal promoter of world peace. Other "conditions" are U.S. nuclear doctrine, increased missile accuracy and heightened vulnerability, nuclear proliferation, and arms control. The approach is intelligent and knowledgeable, and separates the wheat from the chaff. Yet this slim volume, while of value to general readers, will leave the specialists somewhat unsatisfied, perhaps because of an over-ambitious reach.