In This Review

The Nuclear Seduction: Why The Arms Race Doesn't Matter-And What Does
The Nuclear Seduction: Why The Arms Race Doesn't Matter-And What Does
By William A. Schwartz and Charles Derber
University of California Press, 1990, 294 pp.

The authors, part of a Boston antinuclear group, set out to answer the establishment across town, Harvard's project on Living With Nuclear Weapons. They discovered that Bernard Brodie was right all along-the dominant fact about nuclear weapons is how awesome they are-and so both the nuclear enthusiasts and disarmers make the mistake of concentrating on changes in weaponry that are marginal, not on the political conflicts behind the weapons. Their conclusion is fodder for debate: nuclear horror does not make the use of nuclear weapons unthinkable even once conflict begins; rather, "the political conflict and violence raging around the world . . . could one day spin out of control and set off a nuclear cataclysm."