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The Fate Of The Earth Hardcover – Import, 1982


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: JONATHAN CAPE; Book Club edition (1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224020641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224020640
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,003,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
Schell takes the most compelling subject imaginable -- the very real possiblity of nuclear annihilation -- and puts it into gripping, passionate prose. Anyone with a concern for the human race should read Schell's account of the effect of nuclear weapons on nature and civilization. And anyone afraid of being humbled or disturbed needs Schell's reality check all the more.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Gavin M Douglas on July 11, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
This book attempts to conceptualize the idea of a full scale nuclear exchange between the cold war superpowers, since the idea itself is now "unthinkable". To explore this lack of understanding the author first explains in detail the immediate and long lasting effects of full scale nuclear war. Then, he comments on the situation, making a bid for sanity in an insane situation. The author believes that self-destruction and even planetary destruction "is not something that we will pose one day in the future... it is here now" (182). Schell believes that only a fundamental change in the belief system of the people of the entire planet can erase the danger currently hanging over the world; no amount of arms limitation or reduction will end the threat of total annihilation.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
I first became aware of the work of Jonathan Schell through his two excellent books of reportage on the Vietnam War, entitled The Village of Ben Suc (A Vintage Book, V-431) and The Military Half: An Account of Destruction in Quang Ngai and Quang Tin Schell utilizes a most effective technique to convey the horror of war: a very flat affect, in the style of Joe Web's "Just the facts, mam..." He manages to capture the rationales of those who do the killing, and after 40 years, I recall, and even quote his descriptions of helicopter pilots who felt they had skills and techniques to differentiate "hard-core VC" from "innocent peasants" as they flew over, at 200 mph. Of the lakes of ink that have been spilled attempting to capture the experience of the Vietnam War, these two books will always remain in my top ten. Sadly, I note that my reviews at Amazon are the only ones posted on either book.

"In the Fate of the Earth," as the title suggests, Schell goes global. No longer is he addressing a dirty little war half way around the world, fought by a slender percentage of the American population, and viewed by the vast majority on their TV sets, over dinner. The war that Schell fears, a nuclear holocaust, is one that would come crashing into everyone's living room, TV or no. The book was written in the Cold War period, 1982, when the Soviet Union and the United States had thousands of nuclear armed missiles pointed at each other. The military doctrine of the time went by the suitable acronym, MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Waiblinger on August 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The plot summary for this book has already been explained by other reviewers, so I won't bother with that here. This book was required for a seminar I took in college about nuclear proliferation. Despite several presentations by professors studying nuclear proliferation, this book produced the most conversation (and an intelligent one, at that) surrounding the topic.

While a great read, this book is rather depressing. It paints a rather bleak picture about humanity and outlines how simple it would be for humanity to be annihilated. I knocked off one star not for this reason, but simply because the book was not mind-blowing - it was great, but not fantastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Renzo Strada on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first heard about this book in a 1986 quote, but was never able to actually read it. The author's thoughts and arguments are still absolutely valid, as humankind is capable of turning the planet into a "republic of insects and grass" as much today than when originaly published. Read it: it's worth it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Depth analysis of nuclear weapons, the posososibyt of nuclear war and how we must get rid of them before we use them and thereby get rid of us.
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