Cold Dawn: The Story of SALT

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9780030016318: Cold Dawn: The Story of SALT

Newhouse quotes two professors of government who have studied the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks. Invoking the old penguin chestnut, one asked the other if he didn't now know more about SALT than he cared to? His colleague answered, ""I've learned more about SALT than there is to know."" This book by Newhouse leaves one with the former sentiment unless there is great prior interest in the technicalities of arms limitations and the history of SALT's coming to be. Newhouse cogitates about the political implications, but it is hard to get an overview of the bargaining strategies amid all the chips. The fact does emerge that Brezhnev, in his yearning for detente, has made more concessions than Nixon in the agreements signed last year. How SALT fits into the general Nixon-Kissinger policymaking system is examined; when Nixon finally picked up the question of arms limitation talks after the Czech invasion had aborted earlier plans, he was displeased to see that an ad hoc crew of middling bureaucrats had developed a negotiating stance tailored to the Joint Chiefs' views. As a series of, say, New Yorker pieces the book would be delightful. And it certainly has merit as a documentary and a touchstone for debate. At a sitting; though, its input overkills.

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