This book will help educate those who think the course of the Cold War and its end -- or for that matter any important dimension of international politics -- were driven only by governments, national leaders, and vast political forces. During much of the postwar U.S.-Soviet confrontation, small groups of scientists, scholars, and former policymakers from the two countries met informally and probed better management of the nuclear arms competition, regional conflicts, and other sources of tension in ways public officials could not. Using archives, interviews, and a wide range of publications, Evangelista painstakingly reconstructs the substance of these encounters and traces how the process filtered into Soviet policymaking circles. Under Gorbachev, these efforts significantly influenced Soviet approaches to nuclear testing, start, and conventional arms reductions. A smart, well-argued, and unassuming book.