This, the first in a set of edited volumes from the Ridgeway Center for International Security Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, makes a contribution to our understanding of the convention, signed in January 1993 and not yet in effect. The multiple authors take a technically sophisticated approach to their subject, which makes for competent analysis but rather slow reading. To their credit, the editors have assembled authors who take markedly different views of arms control, from the mildly hopeful to the scathingly critical. The convention, which requires the destruction of all chemical weapons by signatory parties, is exceedingly ambitious. It provides for elaborate (but probably porous) verification measures and the creation of yet another international organization. Even the optimists are hesitant to promise too much for it.