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ACA’s journal, Arms Control Today, remains the best in the market. Well focused. Solidly researched. Prudent.

– Hans Blix,
former IAEA Director-General

Books of Note
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Prescription for Survival: A Doctor's Journey to End Nuclear Madness
By Bernard Lown, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2008, 426 pp.

Written by Nobel Peace Prize winner Bernard Lown, Prescription for Survival chronicles the author's role in founding the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Established in 1981 by Lown and Soviet cardiologist Evgenii Chazov, the IPPNW's membership grew to more than 150,000 doctors worldwide by 1985. The book explores the IPPNW's colorful history, including live appearances on Soviet television to discuss the implications of nuclear war, lobbying the U.S. and Soviet governments for a moratorium on nuclear testing, and receiving the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. Lown brings his appeal up to date by critiquing the current U.S. military buildup in the face of international terrorism. He urges international cooperation as opposed to pursuing a policy of "aggressive, unprovoked war." The author concludes that the "best immunization" against the fear-driven policy mistakes of the present era is to "join with others in social opposition to policies that threatened human survival."


South Asia's Cold War: Nuclear Weapons and Conflict in Comparative Perspective
By Rajesh Basrur, Routledge, 2008, 184 pp.

In his succinct new book, Rajesh Basrur examines the nature and history of cold wars between nuclear-armed states, focusing on the bilateral tensions among China, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Drawing lessons from these historical case studies, Basrur analyzes the current nuclear standoff between India and Pakistan. Basrur finds that nuclear weapons have a paradoxical effect on these cold wars. He notes that cooperation between rivals increases when the prospect of nuclear war looms high; however, war becomes a more feasible option for states when the threat of nuclear conflict is low.

Basrur concludes that a resolution to the cold war between India and Pakistan will depend on defusing the ideological basis for the conflict, which requires progress at multiple levels. At the state level, decision-makers should continue the slow and tentative strides toward a political resolution regarding Kashmir. Public opinion will affect the behavior of decision-makers, and each country's population must be receptive to a compromise.


Nuclear Safeguards, Security, and Nonproliferation: Achieving Security With Technology and Policy
Edited by James E. Doyle, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008, 592 pp.

Editor James Doyle, a nonproliferation expert at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, brings together physicists, social scientists, and nonproliferation experts for this reference work addressing the technical, organizational, and political challenges related to restricting nuclear materials. Part I discusses the theory and methodology of nuclear materials accounting, while Part II explores open-source approaches for investigating potential proliferation cases and verifying nuclear disarmament. Finally, Part III examines nuclear terrorism and illicit nuclear trade. Designed for practitioners and scholars of the oft-burgeoning and ever-expansive field of nuclear security, Doyle's volume aims to bring a detailed treatment of the subject to a wide, but by no means general, audience.


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Posted: September 2, 2008