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A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms Race Hardcover – November 27, 1990

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

High-altitude dust particles and smoke generated by even a "limited" nuclear war could plunge the Earth into cold and darkness. The ensuing "nuclear winter," as Sagan and Turco first predicted in the early 1980s, would bring famine, radioactive fallout, depletion of stratospheric ozone and an influx of lethal solar ultraviolet radiation. In an important, hope-giving report, the eminent astronomer and atmospheric scientist team up to refute critics of the nuclear winter hypothesis, and to spell out in greater detail what the environmental and social consequences of such an apocalypse might be. Nuclear winter makes it likely that "nearly all Americans will die" in a central exchange of missiles between the two superpowers, the authors stress. Their detailed proposals for reducing arsenals to achieve a "minimum sufficient deterrance" make this a book that neither concerned citizens nor policymakers can ignore. Photos.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This comprehensive examination of the phenomenon of nuclear winter serves as a sequel of sorts to Paul Ehrlich and others' The Cold and the Dark: The World After Nuclear War ( LJ 9/1/84) and the source book Environmental Consequences of a Nuclear War (Wiley, 1986). The authors provide updated information about the global climate and nuclear war's likely impact on it. They debunk the contention that strategic policies should not be decided on the basis of a mere theory, pointing out that policy is always made on the basis of incomplete information, and that the levels of knowledge about the environmental effects of nuclear war are at least comparable to that in many other policy areas. Though not likely to attract the attention of the media at a time when concerns about nuclear war are now treated as "old hat," the book is nevertheless an important reminder that nuclear war is an issue of supreme ecological importance. After all, as the authors remind us, the superpowers have yet to eliminate more than a tiny fraction of their nuclear stockpiles.
- Jennifer Scarlott, World Policy Inst., New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 499 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (November 27, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394583078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394583075
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Carl Sagan was Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager spacecraft expeditions to the planets, for which he received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize and the highest awards of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation, and many other awards, for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment. His book Cosmos (accompanying his Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning television series of the same name) was the bestselling science book ever published in the English language, and his bestselling novel, Contact, was turned into a major motion picture.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Erickson on April 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of the late Carl Sagan. Most of his books are 5 stars( see my reviews). A Path Where No Man Thought by Carl Sagan and Richard Turco( top engineer/ PHD /physicist)wrote a very interesting book. Some interesting colorful artwork (some depressing...NYC hit by 2 1 megaton weapons)and vast black and white destruction photos of Hiroshima after its destruction and more.

Let me first say this book was kind of depressing as the reader learns countries have vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons hundreds of times needed as a deterrent against armed aggression. 60,000 weapons plus thousands of tactical nuclear weapons staged in Europe. The USA, the x USSR, the huge stockpile-rs. England,France, China, Israel,India, Pakistan and more countries with smaller stockpiles.

It is shown that even one of the lesser stockpiled countries could cause a mankind extinction level event if it launched all its weapons and targeted them at high soot producing targets such as petroleum refineries, petroleum stockpiles, cities and forests. The resulting soot cloud would absorb enough sunlight for a large enough drop in temperatures enough to kill crops, forests and animals including much of mankind. Its is shown how the winds would spread this black death eventually even into the southern hemisphere. This is not even including the massive stockpiles of the US and x USSR. It is shown if only 1 of the major countries launched only a few hundred weapons targeted at high soot producing targets the other country would not have to fire a shot to ensure complete worldwide Nuclear Winter.

The risk of having so many multiple warhead Merv weapons is shown...much easier to target more cities and soot producing targets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alex on March 11, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book was as advertised, arrived as forecast, and was good value for the money. The book is a good addition to my reference library.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lois Rambough on October 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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