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The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Renewed (Second Edition) Paperback – August 28, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0393977479 ISBN-10: 0393977471 Edition: Second Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Second Edition edition (August 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393977471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393977479
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scott D. Sagan is professor of political science at Stanford University and codirector of the Center for International Security and Cooperation. He is the author of The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons and Moving Targets: Nuclear Strategy and National Security.

Kenneth N. Waltz is Emeritus Ford Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley and senior research associate at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. His books include Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis and Theory of International Politics.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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If you are interested in international relations/security, this is a classic.
Ross Keener
Though this book is quite complex, neither author writes in an overly academic style, which allows for a wide potential audience.
Daniel Evensen
This books puts together two colliding authors on whether the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a good idea or not.
Denis Benchimol Minev

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on February 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
This books puts together two colliding authors on whether the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a good idea or not. Waltz, one fo the premier figures of realpolitik, argues (brilliantly, even though I disagree with him) that proliferation is a good idea. Sagan argues there are too many organizational risks in the proliferation system.
The two present their arguments, and then respond to each other's argument. It is a fascinating argument, one that can be discussed in 1000 pages, but the authors do a tremendous job of synthesizing it and pointing out the major strenghts and weaknesses of each other's argument. In today's world, where we are willing to go to war to prevent proliferation, it is useful to take a step back and really understand what the main problems arising by proliferation are.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Evensen on December 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is presented in an academic debate style. Waltz beings with a discussion of why the spread of nuclear weapons is not detremental to world peace. Sagan counters, after which both comment on the recent spread of nuclear weapons to both India and Pakistan. Both then write a conclusionary essay, essentially restating the arguments they made earlier.

This is a wonderful book for people interested in this aspect of international politics. Sagan and Waltz both make deep arguments, peppered with numerous historical references and held together by a sound logical structure. Though this book is quite complex, neither author writes in an overly academic style, which allows for a wide potential audience. You'll read more here about the theoretical logic behind the threat of nuclear war than you will about, say, the technical makeup of nuclear weapons.

My only complaint about this work is that Scott Sagan's responses to Waltz seem specifically devised to tear Waltz's argument apart, rather than constructing a logical arugment of his own. This book also includes quite a deal of repetition. After reading both author's take on the potentiality of an India-Pakistan conflict, one feels exasperated to see Waltz merely reiterate what he said earlier. However, this is still the best book of its kind on this subject, one that any serious student of foreign policy should pursue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AWIL on March 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to know anything about the arguments surrounding nuclear proliferation, this book is the foundation. Both authors are leading scholars in the field with very different views on nuclear proliferation, giving the reader the choice to choose which side of the debate they fall on or to create their own combination of the two views.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ross Keener on December 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are interested in international relations/security, this is a classic. It is short and understandable. If you read this book closely and take the time to consider its application, you will find yourself frustrated at the crap the talking heads on TV come up with when talking about war and politics.
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