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War Scare Hardcover – September 30, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0275966430 ISBN-10: 0275966437

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (September 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275966437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275966430
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The arrival of the year 2000 will find humankind's basket of worries distressingly full, with issues like Y2K, global warning, and biological terrorism lurking around the corner. Yet how many Americans worry about the Russian nuclear arsenal and the threat of surprise nuclear war? Not enough, warns Pry, a former CIA intelligence officer. Drawing on his experience with the Agency and a close review of public sources, Pry argues that we have been closer to nuclear war with Russia than top U.S. officials dare to admit. Pry's accounts of five war scares since 1983 and his review of the profound internal crisis in Russia are not for the faint of heart. Even if we disagree with him on just how close to nuclear Armageddon we actually are, his book reminds us that Russia's nuclear force poses a genuine threat to U.S. national security far into the 21st century. It also reminds us that the Clinton administration's nuclear-risk-reduction proposals are much more than another foreign giveaway. It is unfortunate that War Scare, so long in the works, does not provide an updated assessment of relations between Russia and the West in the aftermath of NATO's expansion and the Kosovo conflict, when East-West relations have nose-dived. Otherwise, it is a valuable book.AJohn Raymond Walser, U.S. Dept of State, Washington, DC
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"A cogent and informed assessment of how close the West came to nuclear war with the Soviet Union in the 1980s, and how, contrary to general belief the danger persists....[Pry's] insight into the minds of the Russian General Staff and his concerns about Western misunderstanding of it are important and salutary."-Kirkus Reviews

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It is a great pity that, unfortunately, it is to the choir that Peter Pry preaches. His current work, WAR SCARE, follows in the footsteps of his earlier works on the Israeli nuclear program and the strategic nuclear balance of the Cold War. All are meticulously researched and written. Those who don't want to hear the message won't read the book. However, those who yearn to know how dangererous the Cold War was, and how dangerous the current international environment is, will read the book.
WAR SCARE details how close the world came to nuclear annhilation in the early 1980s and over and over again well into the Clinton Administration. The details of WAR SCARE, when coupled with the findings of the Cox Committee's report on Communist Chinese nuclear espionage, lead one to seriously question who the Clinton Administration serves, the American people, or themselves, or, more ominously, someone else.
WAR SCARE ought to be in the required reading list of all American History/Government/Civics classes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Horton on January 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Yes, the atom has been split: And splitting atoms makes possible the building of great big bombs. Yet many remain in denial of these facts instead of taking measures to minimize risks. Peter Pry's book should convince us that the threat of nuclear assault is higher than ever: Russia now considers a nuclear first strike the preferred means of preempting a nuclear attack upon herself, but also an option to answer threats from conventional weapons: "The role of nuclear weapons today remains even more important than it was during the Cold War," Viktor Surikov, Director, Institute of Defense Studies, September 10, 1996. The projected losses from a nuclear exchange between Russia and the United States were published in the Journal of The American Civil Defense Association in December, 1996; 165,000,000 deaths for the United States, and for Russia, less than she absorbed in World War II. Russia has long considered nuclear war not only thinkable but winnable. Our inaction in the face of the threat makes their calculations more certain. Our lack of preparedness invites the very catastrophe we dread. Once we wake up to the "Russian point of view" as so thoroughly set out in Dr. Pry's book, two conclusions are obvious: First, the federal government has failed completely to discharge its Constitutional responsibility to "provide for the common defense," and second, if we are to protect ourselves and thereby increase our chances of survival and reduce the risk of a nuclear attack, we must begin on our own initiative. Several steps can be taken: 1. The completion in our own towns of the fallout shelter survey that was started in the 1960's will show where hundreds of millions of people can take shelter and survive. 2.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
The idea of the book seems incredible at first. Is Russia actually more scared of the US and more ready to nuke us than they were in the 1980s? All those things the Generals say is just puff to get more budget money!
Unfortunately, this is not the case. The generals really believe this to be the case. Though the previous review said that Pry stretches his point, the more I read on the subject the more convinced I am that Pry is more or less right.
Another study of Russia's current security doctrine can be found at: [...] and it backs Pry up 100%. [I have no connection to the authors or publishers of either book]
All in all, I think this is a factual, and worrisome discussion of the Russian General Staff's thinking, and I think that if you're interested in the Russian military, US Defense or related issues this book is a must buy.
It's best point is that it actually EXPLAINS WHY the Russians think this way, and forces you to understand why they think so. In all honesty, if I were in their mindset, I'd be rabidly scared too.
The sad thing is that, of course, the schemes they fear are completely untrue. They feel threatened by a country that does not threaten them.
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Format: Hardcover
This book by Dr. Pry serves as an important reminder that nuclear weapons are still a major problem for the forseeable future. The end of the Cold War has lulled many to sleep feeling that nuclear weapons, or the possibility of global thermonuclear war ended in 1991. This book reminds us that others see the world differerntly from ourselves. It raises the issue that if a major power feels insecure that is bad news for everyone. The strength of the book lies in its raising this nuclear debate once again. Some of the interpretations about Russian activites concerning nuclear weapons (third generation) border on the speculative and serve only to create a sense of panic that one associates with the 1980's Committeee for the Present Danger. However, even if one disagrees or is uneasy with some of the argument in Dr. Pry's book one is faced with the undeniable reality that nuclear weapons are still a major problem for international relations and the future of the planet. If this book serves to serve notice to the world to wake up and to rejoin the debate about this important topic then it has accomplished a great thing indeed.
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