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Book Reviews

From time to time, Arms Control Today will provide full-length reviews of upcoming books on the subject of arms control, nonproliferation, and international security. Shorter reviews of upcoming books can be found in the Books of Note section. To purchase any of these books, please consider using one of our online partners, who will share a portion of sales revenue with the Arms Control Association.

  • December 4, 2013
    Barbara Slavin

    In Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy, Kenneth Pollack analyzes the possible responses to Iran’s nuclear program and makes a convincing case that Israel and the United States should avoid attacking Iranian nuclear facilities, reviewer Barbara Slavin says.

  • May 2, 2013
    Andrew K. Semmel

    In Detect, Dismantle. and Disarm: IAEA Verification, 1992-2005, Christine Wing and Fiona Simpson have written a deeply researched, highly readable study that makes clear the strengths and weaknesses of the International Atomic Energy Agency, reviewer Andrew Semmel says.

  • November 5, 2012
    Michael Krepon

    South Asia’s Distinctive Arms Race

    Two new books on the Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons programs, by Verghese Koithara and Feroz Khan, respectively, give insightful and complementary perspectives on the South Asian arms race, reviewer Michael Krepon says.

  • August 30, 2012
    Michael Moodie

    For more than a decade, the world has witnessed an increasing confluence of rapidly advancing science and its embodiment in practical technologies, the extensive global diffusion of the knowledge and capabilities associated with those developments, and a seemingly unending shift in the international security environment. The scope and intensity of these interactions have generated concern about security risks stemming from the possible misuse of emerging science and technology. The issue is especially acute with respect to the life sciences and related technologies.

  • March 2, 2012
    Michael Krepon

    William Walker is a rare find: a humanist and elegant writer conversant with technical detail, as well as a specialist in nuclear proliferation who is intrigued by the subject of how power has been applied to create, maintain, and shape nuclear order. Walker is well positioned to provide a big-picture assessment of the nuclear dilemma, in part because he has observed it at a distance from Washington and Moscow.

  • November 2, 2011
    Michael Moodie

    Biological weapons seem to have lost their appeal—as an object of policy concern, that is. From the early 1960s, when nonproliferation emerged as an international security challenge, until the 1990s, the nonproliferation agenda was dominated by nuclear issues. Chemical and biological weapons were deemed a comparatively minor matter, the province of only a small, largely technical community laboring in relative obscurity as far as senior policymakers were concerned. Beginning in the mid-1990s, however, as the product of an unusual combination of developments in Iraq, the Soviet Union, and Japan, chemical and biological weapons began to climb up the global security agenda.

  • August 30, 2011
    Norman A. Wulf

    In his new book, Interpreting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Daniel H. Joyner has a clear agenda and turns his policy preferences into legal interpretations, reviewer Norman A. Wulf says.

  • June 2, 2011
    Michael Adler

    In his memoir, Mohamed ElBaradei “pulls no punches” in arguing for negotiation over either sanctions or force as a nonproliferation tool, reviewer Michael Adler says.

  • April 4, 2011
    Zia Mian

    Zia Mian reviews Fallout, Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz’s account of how the CIA recruited the Tinner family as agents inside the Abdul Qadeer Khan network. In addition to adding detail to previous accounts of the Khan network, the book shows how the CIA sought to protect its dominant position in internal U.S. policy debates on Khan’s nuclear smuggling operation and shielded the Tinners from criminal prosecution.

  • November 4, 2010
    Bennett Ramberg

    The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain With the Bomb
    By Avner Cohen
    Columbia University Press, 2010, 416 pp.

    Reviewed by Bennett Ramberg

  • September 3, 2010
    Randy Rydell

    It is perhaps not surprising that Richard Rhodes' most recent book, The Twilight of the Bombs, would focus on what one might call “the making of” nuclear disarmament. The subject is quite timely, and the conclusion is clear: the world would be better off without the bomb.

  • June 4, 2010
    Leonard Weiss

    Leonard Weiss finds David Albright’s Peddling Peril illuminating in the way it describes the various parts of Abdul Qadeer Khan’s illicit nuclear trade network but less successful in other respects.

  • April 1, 2010
    Michael Krepon

    There have been four nuclear-tinged crises in South Asia since 1990, and new crises could be generated by religious extremists carrying out mass-casualty attacks. Several new books on regional stability and crisis management on the subcontinent are therefore timely and well worth reading. Of particular interest are three collections of essays edited by Peter Lavoy, Scott Sagan, and Sumit Ganguly and Paul Kapur.

  • November 5, 2009
    Gerard DeGroot

    A review of Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism From Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda By John Mueller.

  • September 4, 2009
    Paul Boyer

    A Review of Reagan’s Secret War: The Untold Story of His Fight to Save the World From Nuclear Disaster by Martin Anderson and Annelise Anderson (Continue)

  • June 5, 2009
    Barclay Ward

    A Review of Better Safe Than Sorry: The Ironies of Living with the Bomb, by Michael Krepon.

  • March 31, 2009
    John Holum

    A Review of Reykjavik Revisted: Steps Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Edited by George P. Shultz et al.

  • November 4, 2008
    Brian Weeden

    A Review of Harnessing the Heavens: National Defense Through Space edited by Paul G. Gillespie and Grant T. Weller, and The Politics of Space Security: Strategic Restraint and the Pursuit of National Interests by James Clay Moltz.

  • September 2, 2008
    William Burr

    A Review of The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons Since 1945 by Nina Tannenwald.

  • June 9, 2008
    Paul Boyer

    A Review of U.S. vs. Them: How a Half Century of Conservatism Has Undermined American Security by J. Peter Scoblic.

  • April 1, 2008
    William C. Potter

    A Review of On Nuclear Terrorism by Michael Levi.

  • December 1, 2007
    John Newhouse

    A Review of Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race by Richard Rhodes.

  • October 1, 2007
    Leon V. Sigal

    A Review of Failed Diplomacy: The Tragic Story of How North Korea Got the Bomb by Charles L. Pritchard

  • July 1, 2007
    Ambassador Norman A. Wulf

    A Review of Atoms for Peace: A Future After Fifty Years? edited by Joseph F. Pilat

  • May 7, 2007
    Brad Roberts

    A Review of The Minimum Means of Reprisal: China’s Search for Security in the Nuclear Age by Jeffrey Lewis. (Continue)

  • March 1, 2007
    Barclay Ward

    A Review of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy: Confronting Today’s Threats edited by George Bunn and Christopher F. Chyba

  • December 1, 2006
    C. Kenneth Quinones

    A review of A Moment of Crisis: Jimmy Carter, The Power of a Peacemaker, and North Korea’s Nuclear Ambitions by Marion Creekmore, Jr.

  • October 1, 2006
    Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr.

    A Review of At the Borderline of Armageddon: How American Presidents Managed the Atom Bomb by James E. Goodby

  • July 1, 2006
    Jean Pascal Zanders

    A Review of Deadly Cultures: Biological Weapons Since 1945 edited by Mark Wheelis, Lajos Rózsa, and Malcolm Dando

  • May 1, 2006
    Steve Andreasen

    A Review of The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: An Insider’s Perspective by Keith A. Hansen

  • March 1, 2006
    Michael Moodie

    A Review of War of Nerves: Chemical Warfare From World War I to Al-Qaeda by Jonathan B. Tucker

  • December 1, 2005
    Robert M. Hathaway

    A Review of Fearful Symmetry: India-Pakistan Crises in the Shadow of Nuclear Weapons by Sumit Ganguly and Devin T. Hagerty

  • October 1, 2005
    Jack Mendelsohn

    A Review of:

    Nuclear Transformation: The New U.S. Nuclear Doctrine by James Wirtz and Jeffery Larson

    Nuclear Weapons and Strategy: U.S. Nuclear Policy for the Twenty-First Century by Stephen Cimbala

    Nuclear Inertia: U.S. Weapons Policy After the Cold War by Tom Sauer

  • July 1, 2005
    Peter J. Kuznick

    A Review of:

    American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

    109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos by Jennet Conant

    Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan by Tsuyoshi Hasegawa

    The Ruin of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Modern Arms Race by Priscilla McMillan

  • May 1, 2005
    Jonathan B. Tucker

    A Review of The Biological Weapons Convention: A Failed Revolution by Jez Littlewood

  • March 1, 2005
    John D. Steinbruner

    A Review of The Future of Arms Control by Michael A. Levi and Michael E. O'Hanlon

  • November 1, 2004
    Thomas Graham, Jr.

    A Review of The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider Their Nuclear Choices edited by Kurt M. Campbell, Robert J. Einhorn, and Mitchell B. Reiss

  • September 1, 2004
    Michael Krepon

    A Review of Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bombby Strobe Talbott

  • June 1, 2004
    Greg Thielmann

    A Review of Disarming Iraq by Hans Blix

  • April 1, 2002
    Wade Boese

    A Review of Fatal Choice: Nuclear Weapons and the Illusion of Missile Defense by Richard Butler

  • April 1, 2002
    J. Peter Scoblic

    A Review of Conflict Unending: India-Pakistan Tensions Since 1947 by Šumit Ganguly

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