In This Review

Forging the Atomic Shield: Excerpts From the Office Diary of Gordon E. Dean
Forging the Atomic Shield: Excerpts From the Office Diary of Gordon E. Dean
Edited by Roger M. Anders
University of North Carolina Press, 1987, 309 pp

Gordon Dean was a member and then chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission from 1949 to mid-1953, the period during which the Soviets detonated their first atomic device and both superpowers embarked on the thermonuclear arms race. Most of this fascinating volume consists of notes of telephone conversations kept by his secretary. There are also some letters and memoranda, for example, on how American nuclear superiority might be used to coerce the Soviets into disarming along the lines of a revived Baruch Plan. An important source, but not for those who know little of the subject.