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The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex Paperback – April 15, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Since September 11, it has become clear that the United States is headed for more military funding to fight the "war on terrorism." But as longtime antinuclear activist, author and pediatrician Caldicott (Nuclear Madness: What You Can Do) shows, this buildup is nothing new with the exception of the first President Bush, U.S. policy has generally favored military spending. But spending on nuclear weapons is ineffective in fighting terrorists holed up in caves, Caldicott contends. Using a medical model, she focuses on what she calls the "disease" before she launches into her "remedy." She is strongest focusing on the ties between the American nuclear arsenal and large corporations, which have only their own interests at heart a point that should resonate in the post-Enron era. In impressive detail, she describes how hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on questionable defense projects such as Star Wars. To her credit, this book also serves as a defense primer: she lays out the various weapons projects in terms accessible to the average reader an accessibility she argues that the government wants to deny citizens. But her remedies for the problem she describes diverting millions of dollars from the defense budget for health care and the environment seem na‹ve and unrealistic. In addition, her strident tone ("the Pentagon thinks about nuclear strategy in a strange and pathological way") might turn some readers off to the book's important message. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This book by the well-known political activist Caldicott (Nuclear Madness: What You Can Do) is not a direct attack on the existence of the military but rather on the way that the military and industry are so deeply intertwined. Caldicott argues that there is immense financial waste for unneeded weapons programs, that America's foreign and military policies seem designed for world domination, and that this is a betrayal of the best interests of U.S. citizens. Included are short descriptions of many weapons and research projects, which contain cost figures, information on which big contractors benefit, and an evaluation of the program. As a physician, Caldicott puts more emphasis on the long-term medical implications of some of the modern weapons than one usually finds in books on this topic. Most readers will have already made up their minds on this subject one way or another; nevertheless, this book should be made available in libraries for those looking for counterarguments to the Establishment line. The book lacks illustrations and an index, but there are reference notes at the end. Suitable for the circulating collections of public libraries. Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press; Revised Edition edition (April 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565848780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565848788
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,176,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 63 people found the following review helpful By absent_minded_prof on September 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Amazon.com has an inventory of over two million books. If I had to choose the single most important book, the one book I would recommend to ANYONE, I would say that this is it.
Dr. Helen Caldicott is an Australian pediatrician and human survival activist. She is frequently on the short list of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize. As of the day I'm writing this, she hasn't quite won it yet. I personally think it's just a matter of time before she does.
Would you say that you have a really rock-solid, thorough, complete understanding of the nuclear threat in today's world? Probably not. The topic has had a far lower profile than it once did, since the end of the Cold War. Well, don't you think you ought to consider updating your understanding? This book is user-friendly, it's timely, and it's EXTREMELY informative.
You should buy this book for Chapter Two alone. When's the last time you read anything about nuclear winter, written by someone who actually knows what they're talking about? Don't you think you should be well-informed about the topic? How about accidental nuclear war? Did you know we came within less than 3 minutes of a major, accidental exchange of nuclear missiles, on January 29, 1995? How good an understanding of fallout do you really have? What about its specific medical consequences? As a voter and a taxpayer, don't you think you owe it to yourself, to your children, and to ME (and all the rest of humanity, obviously) to be as well-informed about these topics as possible?!
The bulk of this book is devoted to discussing the often incestuous relationships between major defense contractors and our national government. Dr.
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49 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Robert Adler on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
When Dwight D. Eisenhower left the presidency in 1961, he issued a famous warning: "In the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence . . . by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic process."
Just how prophetic Eisenhower's words were is documented in passionate clarity by Dr. Helen Caldicott in The New Nuclear Danger. She demonstrates in chilling detail how the American military-industrial complex, with the willing help of the Congress and a series of administrations, shrugged off the end of the Cold War and seized on the fallout from 9-11 to cement its hold on our government, our lives, and our futures. The U.S. is now spending far more on the military than we were during the height of the Cold War, and much of that on new or "improved" nuclear weapons.
Nobody doubts that Caldicott is a fierce and passionate advocate of arms reduction, de-militarization, and of making "conflict resolution and peacekeeping our new priorities." What gives this book enormous weight and impact is the immense amount of factual research she presents to support her views. The book is full of hard information about the giant companies that comprise the military-industrial complex, their leaders, and their financial, political and personal links with the government. It's also replete with details about the grossly expensive and enormously threatening weapons systems currently being developed, many in contravention to the arms control treaties that once seemed to give us hope of limiting or controlling the proliferation and spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
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59 of 72 people found the following review helpful By E. Skille on May 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
In her exhaustively cross-referenced book, Dr. Caldicott has comprehensively shown how the business side of the current military-industrial complex works. Basically, massive arms makers in the United States buy politicians and also get their own executives into positions of power within the government. With their minions in power, the companies get the Pentagon and Congress to spend nearly incomprehensible amounts of money on weapons and hardware that are often unnecessary for our country and for the world. The Bush administration (and she does name many names) does what it does in order for the right winged aristocratic elite to make absurd amounts of money.
I used to think that the world was a complicated place where we armed ourselves to the teeth in order to stay safe. Now I know that the world is a complicated place where a handful of weapon-makers buy and dictate policies not to make the world safe, but to make themselves preposterously rich (and no I am not a bleeding-heart anticapitalist).
Dr. Caldicott documents many examples of where business prevails over peace. What goes on would be laughable if it weren't so insidiously dangerous.
This book documents a process that should be understood by anyone who votes, and by anyone who still gives a hoot about where our dying planet is heading. Although most of the book is concerned with details of the who, how, and why of nukes, it also shows how truly crooked politicians have become as they sleep in the beds of big-business every night. Do you know who is really running your country?
As she quotes in the book "the only way evil flourishes is for good men to do nothing." And as an environmentalist and concerned citizen, I now see that while recycling and planting a tree are as important as ever, there are bigger, scarier elephants in our collective living room.
Dr. Caldicott, I salute your ambition, intellect, and most of all your courage.
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