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How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
I respect the author's opinion, but I think it is poorly defended and subject to considerable question.
In addition, the book digresses way too far into subjects of religion and philosophy.
Finally, and I hate to say this part the most, the book is kind of boring. The prose is (again) heavy-handed as well as long-winded. I found myself skipping ahead, which is something I never do.
I did manage to finish the book, but I was left with a sense of buyer's remorse.
If you describe yourself as a "zeroer", you will find much to your liking. Otherwise, you will probably find little to change your mind.
This is a somewhat circular argument, in that deterrence depends upon convincing one's potential enemies that retaliation is certain. Submarine-launched missiles can provide a second strike capability, as subs could launch devastating attacks even if the nation that owns them no longer exists.
And yet ... if your country has already been destroyed, then what is there to gain from launching your nuclear weapons-- other than to kill tens or hundreds of millions who otherwise might live?
And yet, and yet: if one is not willing to implement a nuclear policy that ensures retaliation after an attack, are one's enemies not likely to discern this? And when they do, won't they be more likely to attack? And if so, wouldn't implementing such a policy increase the probability of nuclear war?
All of this assumes there are people in the world who would choose to commit mass murder. The author clearly believes there are, as his reference is Hitler and the holocaust. Further, he recognizes that Israel could be totally destroyed by just one or two nuclear bombs, and that it is surrounded by many who speak openly of extermination.
But then he runs up against the morality of retaliation after deterrence has failed, and his moral principles just will not let him go there. As he sees it, once all is lost then retaliation can never be justified. And if retaliation cannot be justified, then a policy based on it must be immoral and should be abandoned.Read more ›
On more than one occasion I wanted to forget what I've learned from this book, but that wouldn't make any of it less true. The subject matter is pretty heavy, and I came away with the same feeling of unease I felt after the laughs wore off in Dr. Strangelove. Nonetheless, I would recommend this to a friend.
The major question that seems to concern the author is once someone launches nuclear weapons. What is the morality of nuclear retaliation? Say side A does an atomic strike on side B, is it moral for side B to retaliate? Of course, the real problem here is if side A thinks that side B will not retaliate; they may be very tempted to strike.
I think the writer, is dishonest with his facts. For example, he must know that it is questionable whether Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov's decision had much to do with preventing nuclear war as plenty is available on the net about it.
I am sure he is misrepresenting the facts on purpose about the US nuclear triad policy. It is expensive, but the point of it is not for first strike. The idea is by having a variety of methods of retaliations it makes it harder for the other side to make a successful first-strike on the US so giving the US a more credible threat of a second strike. If, for example, say the USSR did develop the blue-green laser that could detect submarines, which people had been working on?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is one of a kind. We are imperiling ourselves, very deeply. Though much of this material is available elsewhere, piecemeal, only Mr. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jeep Rosenberg
A VERY SCARY BOOK,if u have not built your bunker yet,u will after this. as i have got older i realize that we have not learned anything. Read morePublished 17 months ago by KENNY
This is a good book, but not what I expected. In my opinion, the author spends a little too much time expounding on his views regarding massive retaliation and the moral issues... Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by John Collins
While there were some warnings that this book isn't a full "how" things would go down and more of an opinion piece, it turned out to be a liberal hit job on nuclear... Read morePublished on May 17, 2013 by ralphie wiggum
The Cold War was a tense and emotionally frenzied period for the United States and, moreover, the whole of humankind. Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by Shelby S. Thomas
This book can be hard to find. We got a used copy but it was in great shape. Pleased with how quickly it came.Published on January 13, 2013 by PianoMom
more than a little scary when you read this and think just how close we were (and are) to a world wide nuc. meltdown and the nut-bags that have the control. Read morePublished on January 4, 2013 by michael
This book contains much useful information and is well-written overall, however the reader who is familiar with critical thinking and logical argumentation may find this author's... Read morePublished on November 3, 2012 by Dd Cushing