The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger Paperback – Sep 2 2008
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“Jonathan Schell has been warning us about the dangers of nuclear weapons since his seminal book, The Fate of the Earth. The Seventh Decade shows how pressing this issue still is. Schell offers a provocative analysis of the current dangers and puts them in the context of history. It's a fascinating and important book.” ―Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe
“In yet another tour de force, Jonathan Schell, our chronicler as conscience, addresses the salient fact of the era--that amid the ultimate terror of nuclear weapons, Americans live under one of the most heedless and dangerous governments in history. Once again, Schell honors us with a profound warning. Our consummate shame is that we do nothing about it.” ―Roger Morris, author of Taking Comfort
“Jonathan Schell has written a courageous book, a clarion call for the world to stop its drift toward 'nuclear anarchy'--which cannot occur absent a radical change in U. S. nuclear policy.” ―Andrew J. Bacevich, author of The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War
“No voice is as clear, no mind is as sharp, and no writings about nuclear weapons have been as perceptive as Jonathan Schell's books and articles since 1982. Now, in The Seventh Decade, Schell once again reveals in lucid prose the most inconvenient truth: the nuclear weapons policies of our government endanger our security, our planet and the very existence of our specie. This is a book that every responsible voter should read before November 2008.” ―Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer prize-winning author of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
About the Author
Jonathan Schell, author of The Unconquerable World and The Fate of the Earth among many other titles, is the Nation Institute's Harold Willens Peace Fellow. His "Letter from Ground Zero" column appears in The Nation regularly. He also writes for Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, and Tomdispatch.com. He is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.See all Product Description
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Bruce A. Roth, Executive Director
Author of "No Time To Kill"
Kenneth Adelman, a member of the Defense Policy Board and past Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, in a discussion with Jonathan Schell on NPR agreed Schell's proposals were "nice" but not practical. Schell countered that his proposals were "essential" and would be implemented one way or another. He'd prefer they be implemented before a nuclear device or devices were exploded on U.S. soil but they'd certainly be implemented after such a catastrophic event. Adelman believes (as does the Bush Administration) that the best we can hope for are strong non-proliferation efforts, strenghtening nuclear weapons tamper resistance and improved nuclear security for nations which already have them, and the certainty that any nuclear device exploded in America which can be traced to a donor country will result in massive retaliation (read nuclear retaliation).
Schell generally agrees with Adelman and points out we must then take the next step to reducing nuclear weapons hardware worldwide to zero. Probably the most difficult diplomatic task of the 21st Century! An excellent read to fully understand the nature of the threat in this new century.
This book is an excellent essay for a person who wants a thorough overview of the subject of arms control.
In addition, the Bush administration upset Russia just prior to 9/11 by pursuing "Star Wars" (SDI) and expanding NATO to include some previous U.S.S.R. areas, Japan is rethinking its "no nuclear weapons" policy in light of North Korea, and Taiwan is probably considering such as well due to China's continual threats and the U.S.'s unwillingness to offer iron-clad guarantees for Taiwan's security. Meanwhile, Brazil announced in 2004 that it was enriching uranium for power uses - a process that only needs to be extended to create atomic weapons, Britain is undertaking a $40 billion or so updating of its nuclear submarines and weapons, and the U.S. is also spending billions on its own updating.
The shortcomings of "Seventh Decade" (of nuclear weapons) are that most of its pages are spent on actions 30+ years prior, it contains little if anything new, and it offers little in the way of recommendations.
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