Monday, November 23, 2009

Nukes not a big deal?

I've been in a reading rut of late, nothing has been clicking. I put down Neuropath, I put down a horror novel I was excited about, I thought the Amazon praised Crazy For the Storm was pretty good, but not great.

John Mueller's Atomic Obsession broke the bad spell. The concise, well argued book is a direct assault on all the received wisdom about nuclear weapons. Mueller argues that nuclear weapons are not as dangerous as people think, that proliferation is less likely than people think, that nuclear terrorism is far more difficult than people think and that much less attention needs to be paid to nuclear weapons in general.

He blows up the right and left in this book, but mostly he is taking aim at the foreign policy establishment for whom nuclear weapons remain a core concern driving a sizable chunk of US policy. This one is well worth reading just to reconsider your assumptions. His argumentation is strong, although you are unlikely to buy everything (or even most) of what he has to say. I imagine those nodding their heads at the sections that talk about how the fixation on Iranian nukes is bad for America will blanch when they see him note that using atomic weapons to access resources and to call for the ramping up of nuclear energy.


Jessica said...

Not Crazy about Storm, either. It should have been a magazine article.

My hubby is an aerospace engineer, and I think I'll read Atomic Obsession with him. It's funny to us that people worry so much about any one type of weapon when there is such an enormous variety from which to choose.

Tripp said...

I was sad about Crazy For the Storm. I picked it up based on the Amazon best of the month pick. Say what you will about Amazon, I tend to like the picks.

I thought the writing let the book down. It would have mattered less with an article.

Oooo, do read it with him, I suspect you two will enjoy it, esp with an engineering outlook.