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Weapons and Hope
Synopses & Reviews
"Books demonstrating why an unlimited nuclear arms buildup makes no sense continue to appear—about as read (by the people who need to read them) as arms stocks shrink. The works of Jonathan Schell, James Fallows, Robert Sheer, and recently Harold Willens argue in different ways for flexibility, common-sense, and moral perspective in our military planning. Dyson, a British-born scientist with World War II experience, adds to this discussion by offering a fresh, sometimes personal, account of between-the-world-wars bomber theory, of wartime breakthroughs in physical science and missilery, and of late developments in microchip computer technology. The future, Dyson argues, belongs to 'David' rather than 'Goliath'—to information gathering satellites rather than massive firepower, to defensive, not offensive weapons. He often cites George F. Kennan in outlining a policy he calls 'live and let live,' by which we would foreswear the first use of nuclear 'arms' and scuttle the MX as first steps toward a negotiated reduction of U.S. and Soviet nuclear arsenals. A pity that so few of our officials share Dyson's good sense and historical-literary perspective." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"...a landmark achievement — perhaps the best book yet on nuclear arms and the human predicament." Newsweek
"By showing us the predictability of nuclear peace, it gives us hope, a rare and precious commodity in this age." Chicago Sun Times
"Dyson...has put forward one clear and valuable principle to guide all those interested in arms control....He provides an excellent layman's guide to the problems and concepts of nuclear deterrence" The New York Times Book Review
"Thankfully we may all welcome in this book a politically intelligent mind, treating creatively and realistically, rather than sentimentally, the overriding problem of our time. One could hope for no more than that statesman and policy makers on both sides of the conflict could obtain it, read it, and maybe learn from it. " Barbara Tuchman
Written by one of America's leading physicists, Weapons and Hope is a highly informed, many-sided exploration of our most disturbing problem, the nuclear dilemma.
About the Author
Freeman Dyson has been a professor of physics at the Institue for Advanced Study in Princeton since 1953. Born in England, he came to Cornell University as a Commonwealth Fellow in 1947 and settled permanently in the U.S. in 1951.
He has been a consultant to the Defense Department and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and has publsihed a widely praised autobiography Disturbing the Universe.
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