The Ifs, Ands and Buts of Nuclear War

A WORLD BEYOND HEALING The Prologue and Aftermath of Nuclear War. Nicholas Wade. W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1987.190 pp. $15.95. The title suggests a description of the post-nuclear world, but this book has a much more ambitious purpose: . to present a concise and impartial account of nuclear war—how a nuclear war might start; what nuclear weapons do to people, cities, and the natural environment; and what the chances are of economic and ecological recovery in the aftermath of a nucl

Lynn Anspaugh
Sep 20, 1987

A WORLD BEYOND HEALING

The Prologue and Aftermath of
Nuclear War. Nicholas Wade. W.W.
Norton & Co., New York, 1987.190
pp. $15.95.

The title suggests a description of the post-nuclear world, but this book has a much more ambitious purpose: . to present a concise and impartial account of nuclear war—how a nuclear war might start; what nuclear weapons do to people, cities, and the natural environment; and what the chances are of economic and ecological recovery in the aftermath of a nuclear exchange.”

The first and second chapters deal with how a nuclear war might start and consider the difficulty of keeping the nuclear command structure under control. Also of particular interest is the last chapter, which presents a fascinating treatment of how our present policy of nuclear deterrence evolved, why a smaller number of weapons might be destabilizing, why accurate but vulnerable land-based missiles are destabilizing, and why...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?