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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 8 reviews
on July 29, 2012
Great read and worth it just for the extended bio's of these five who lived interesting lives.
But the quest to ban nuclear weapons has a pretty strong feel of Don Quixote. It's not clear anyone now in power in any of the nuclear weapon states match their fervor for the quest.

And it just may be the lack of interest is because of something the author was either too polite to bring up with the five or just not be aware of.

During the Cold War the U.S. renounced the use of biological warfare. We physically shut down and then dismantled our bioweapons programs and destroyed our stocks of these weapons. The Soviet Union signed the Biological Weapons Convention treaty in 1975 and agreed to do the same. Instead, the Soviets hid their program and in violation of the disarmament treaty they signed began a massive buildup of weaponized biological agents - anthrax, smallpox, etc.

The Soviet Union built a weapons program that was as large as their nuclear weapons program - except we knew _nothing_ about it. Nothing. They were able to hide a weapons program that had ~65,000 thousand people working on it without us knowing about it, let alone talking about ending it (because they claimed they already had.) See "The Soviet Biological Weapons Program: A History" by Leitenberg, Zilinskas and Kuhn.

Our intelligence system failed. Our arms control treaties were negotiated with someone lying to our faces and laughing behind our backs. The consequences for our country and the world could have been horrific.

These five cold warriors were intimately involved with that failure of intelligence and those arms reduction treaties. I am all for any program that results in the massive reduction of weaponizable fissile material. However, at a minimum these five should address why if we couldn't see a weapons program as large as the Soviet Bioweapons program, why it won't happen again on the path to nuclear abolition.
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on July 26, 2017
One has to be VERY interested in the reasoning behind these scientists work to ban the bomb to read this book. Their hard work and sacrifices did not have the desired effect, after all. The bomb is here to stay, and woe to us if terrorists get the raw materials to build even a, "dirty," bomb with a conventional explosive!
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on February 8, 2012
Taubman sheds a lot of light on the progression of these men's careers and how they came to advocate nuclear disarmament and abolition of these relics of the Cold War. He added quite a bit more to what transpired at Reykjavik between Reagan & Gorbachev when we lost another "best chance" to eliminate the nuclear threat we all face. Nuclear weapons no longer serve any rational purpose or have any military utility, and Schultz, Kissinger, Nunn, Perry, and Drell who were all Cold Warriors now see the dangers and futility of maintaining nuclear weapons in a changed world, and how the greater threat today is the possibility of nuclear terrorism unless all nations work together to safeguard and eliminate fissile material and warheads. A very good read, and I appreciated learning more about Sam Nunn's earlier life and career here in Middle Georgia. A must read for anyone in the anti-nuclear weapons advocacy.
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on May 6, 2013
Taubman does an excellent job of describing the main characters (Kissinger, Nunn, Perry and Schultz) and how they became interested in a world without nuclear weapons. Getting to zero is recognized as a very difficult challenge and Taubman has done a good job of discussing the pros and cons as he leads the reader through the thoughts of the "four horsemen". Good read.
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on January 29, 2012
This book is fascinating. An inside look at 5 unlikely "Cold Warriors" how they rose to positions of power and influence and how they now use their celebrity to work towards a world without nuclear weapons. This book is full of interesting insights to the times that changed our lives and the leaders who looked to these men for advice on policy and technical maters. I found myself looking forward to my next free hour with this book. It is scholarly, insightful and very accessible, in fact entertaining from start to finish. Highly recommended!
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on April 11, 2013
Infor i didn't know about problems with curtaining nukes, who could get their hands on plutonium, loose nukes unaccounted for and our leaders change of heart/mind with respect to limiting and destroying warheads.
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on March 4, 2013
I did not know much about the background and experiences of the "partners", so that was interesting. But, Ican't believe I read nearly 400 pages about the background to a couple op-ed pieces.
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