In This Review

The Long Darkness: Psychological and Moral Perspectives on Nuclear Winter
The Long Darkness: Psychological and Moral Perspectives on Nuclear Winter
Edited by Lester Grinspoon
Yale University Press, 1986, 213 pp

Some of the nation's best thinkers-Henry Steele Commager, Erik Erikson, Robert J. Lifton and Stephen Jay Gould among others-put their minds to the moral and psychological aspects of nuclear winter (as depicted in grim detail by Carl Sagan). Clearly the nuclear winter theory, to whatever extent it is valid, has induced a significant debate about man's wisdom in relying upon nuclear weapons and about the entire concept of deterrence. A common horror, however, is easier to evoke than are acceptable alternatives. Such a book can serve an important purpose in crystalizing attention, but its practical lessons for public policy and the current arms control dialogue are uncertain.