In This Review

Making Weapons, Talking Peace: A Physicist's Odyssey from Hiroshima to Geneva
Making Weapons, Talking Peace: A Physicist's Odyssey from Hiroshima to Geneva
By Herbert F. York
Basic Books, 1987, 346 pp.
From Deterrence to Defense: The Inside Story of Strategic Policy
From Deterrence to Defense: The Inside Story of Strategic Policy
By Michael Charlton
Harvard University Press, 1987, 154 pp.

These very different books are both inside accounts of America's nuclear history. York's is a warm, engaging memoir of his life from graduate student with the Manhattan Project to arms control negotiator for the Carter Administration; he is charitable to foes and sprinkles his book with portraits of the famous scientists he knew, from John von Neumann to the Soviet physicist Peter Kapitza. Charlton's book, which grew out of a BBC series on SDI, portrays the history through the words of 23 eminent Americans and Europeans, from Robert McNamara's disillusion with strategic defense in the 1960s to Richard Perle's embrace of it in the 1980s.