In This Review

Power And Madness: The Logic Of Nuclear Coercion
Power And Madness: The Logic Of Nuclear Coercion
By Edward Rhodes
269 pp, Columbia University Press, 1989
Purchase

Rhodes takes the insight, taught by Thomas Schelling a quarter-century ago, that nuclear threats made to deter would be irrational to carry out if deterrence failed, and pushes it to argue that the United States should abandon the search for rational nuclear options, exploiting irrationality by relying instead on a version of Herman Kahn's probabilistic Doomsday Machine. The argument takes Rhodes where he wants to go-to much smaller nuclear forces that pose no war-fighting threat. It may not take the reader to the same place, but the ride is a good one.