4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2010
Allan M. Winkler's 'Life Under A Cloud' is a well-researched book and an exceptionally good read. It has great notes and a fabulous bibliography that helped enlarge my nuclear library. As a long-time student of the Cold War and nuclear weapons, Winkler's well-written, easily understood book gave me a concise perspective of where we've been in the arms race and shows hope for tomorrow if only people would take a stand as a whole and face the problem of nuclear weapons. Winkler makes note that Americans have traditionally avoided the issue. "They found it simpler to cast furtive, sidelong glances at the bomb, just as we do today, and so avoid facing it directly."
Unfortunately, the veil of secrecy kept information about nuclear weapons out of the public eye as well, and any attempts at debate were stifled with charges of those people being unknowledgeable or un-American. However, changes were made due to public and scientific outcry at certain points of the arms race, ceasing atmospheric testing being one.
Winkler covers at lot about the arms race, clearly and concisely. If you need a good book that puts it all in a nutshell, this is it. People need to be educated about the reality of nuclear weapons, then determine if they as a society want to keep living under the cloud. This book, written in 1993, is worth reading in 2010 as the U.S. and Russia face what may be our last best chance to rid the world of the nuclear threat.