Few Americans have had as extensive experience in strategic arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union as General Edward Rowny. On the heels of a full military career, he was brought into the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (salt II) negotiations in 1973 at the urging of then-U.S. Senator Henry Jackson (D-Wash.) and continued to serve, with interruptions, at a senior level under five presidents. But it was a stormy career, with a resignation in protest of the salt ii agreement during the Carter years and a departure from the Bush administration because he felt that his views were being discounted. The high point was during the Reagan period, when he headed the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (start) delegation. Over the years, Rowny represented the conservative pole of the arms control debate and maintained a consistently skeptical attitude toward the aims of the Soviet Union. In this account of his government service he remains true to those views. He is also critical of what he sees as an American tendency to seek agreement for its own sake. This is a highly personal book, full of amusing anecdotes about the side conversations around the conference tables and in the halls of power.
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