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Critical Mass: The Dangerous Race for Superweapons in a Fragmenting World Hardcover – February 2, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (February 2, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671748955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671748951
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,598,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a culture in which superweapons are replacing superpowers as arbiters of order, we face a new arms race that is driven by ethnic and religious hatred, warn the authors of this impressive study. Burrows and Windrem contend that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, along with the means to deliver them over long distances, is more ominous than the specters of overpopulation, disease epidemics or ecological disaster. As the moderating influence of the superpowers diminishes (they are turning their attention increasingly to internal affairs), Third World countries are seeking true independence based on military self-sufficiency, which translates to the stockpiling of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The authors provide a deeply researched survey of the methods by which these weapons are distributed, who has them and how they are likely to be employed unless sanctions can be imposed. The U.S. should take the lead in forging an international antiproliferation resolve, stress Burrows ( Deep Black ) and Windrem, who is a producer for NBC News. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This hefty volume covers more ground but is not as well organized as Martin van Creveld's Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict ( LJ 8/93) nor as speculative as Trevor DuPuy's Future Wars ( LJ 1/93). Nonetheless, Burrows and Windrem have painted an even more sobering picture: the major powers of the world have lost all control over superweapons proliferation. The stories are familiar: the Iraqi nuclear effort, Gerald Bull's "supergun," and Indian, Pakistani, and Israeli atom bombs. Sometimes the tale is so obscure the reader loses the point--why were there Iraqi agents in Mauritania? What does the bombing of the World Trade Center have to do with proliferation? No matter, the book is captivating reading for all.
- John Yurechko, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John C. Landon on April 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Although slightly displaced by developments in Iraq, this book remains of interest and contains a good brief madman portrait of Hussein's atomic bomb attempts, in the context of the greater history of nuclear proliferation since the American opening of Pandora's box, now seen in its consequences a generation later. The brief snapshots of the sordid history are effective, India, Pakistan, China, Israel, the Osirak reactor, to the bit players and their arms merchants and the underworld of financial hoodlums, e.g.BCCI. One is struck by the sheer and immense waste of resources, especially in the case of Hussein, enough money to have turned Iraq into a highly developed nation, instead... Unfortunately the USA had a choice, and made that choice, to use the bomb. Right or wrong? The problem is obvious, noone in the political nuthouse will ever listen again to the dangers of proliferation, in the scramble for national 'safety'.
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By A Customer on January 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The book examines each and every detail about Nuclear Proliferation and regional politics. Nothing however is more thrillling and hair raising than the narrowly averted confrontations between India and Pakistan. Some facts however look unbelievable, like Pakistan's claim that it's planes could have bombarded Indian nuclear centers hundreds of miles away and with number of anti-aircraft batteries on their way! Otherwise its definitely well researched. The authors speak the facts and the hidden meanings behind each explosion or missile launch. For example, they point out why Pakistan was almost branded a Terrorist state by USA after the Afghan war and why India relentlessly pushed forward its missile program. A must read for anybody interested in the future of the world.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book has for the first time brought into notice the part played by developed countries in Nuclear poliferation.
The holier then thou argument of the developed world not longer stands ground.The book itself is also very well detailed and has documented certain events in our recent past with amazing details.
The book is far from objective it fails to critizie the nuclear powers at any stage, it also gets into to much of drama for example he paints a picture of hindu India versus the Muslim Pakistan, but conveniently forgets to mention that the head of India's Nuclear program is a muslim Dr. Abdul Kalam. In conclusion this book is a must for anyone who is interested in International dipolmacy and or Nuclear politics and black mail
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eugene N. Miya on January 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book for a former office mate who was an N-weapons designer. A copy of this book (hardcopy) is frequently visible in the background book shelf on the Today show (NBC -- AMs): the hardbound dust jacket has a red stripe on the top and the bottom, a white background middle on the binding with gold lettering for the title. You can't quite read the title, but it is very distinctive behind many Today-show guests.
Burrows is only a reporter and bound to get some details wrong, but he has assembled some interesting photos including claimed photos of SA-weapons vaults. Not a bad book. Full eveluation will be difficult.
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