On Thermonuclear War has 97 ratings and 19 reviews. James said: Herman Kahn was the ringleader of a group that came to be known as the megadeath intelle. On Thermonuclear War was controversial when originally published and Kahn’s stated purpose in writing this book was simply: “avoiding. While the former conclusion is the more generous, the latter is the more flattering. HERMAN KAHN ON THERMONUCLEAR WAR: WHAT PRICE SURVIVAL?.

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Herman Kahn

If the enemy does not know where you will strike, the enemy must prepare everywhere, which will eventually exhaust the enemy’s resources. During that era the Soviets were the only Western nation that had a translation of Sun Tzu.

It’s a safe bet that A classic. All our peace rallies, psychedelic fantasies, loving behavior, and international conflicts have, for the last several decades, taken place under a nuclear “umbrella. It would have been interesting to see what Khan and crew would have come up with had they been nursed on Taoist rather than Indo-European assumptions. Strangelove, which is interesting. Kahn did recognize that, with more powerful thermonuclear devices, more sophisticated delivery systems, and more nuclear-capable nations being likely, the world would become a much more dangerous place in the decades after the ‘s.

Aug 28, James rated it it was amazing. Having a hard time getting through it, and keep on starting other things and putting it down.

As a result, both sides were better able to avoid disaster during the Cold War. This is more “research”, although I think I’m just putting off starting writing something new.


It’s a snapshot of one military experience from 55 years ago. The strategic concepts still apply: Oct 23, Glenn Fain marked it as to-read.

Account Options Sign in. Mark Keogh rated it it was amazing Dec 07, Steve Mathews rated it liked it Jan 03, Profoundly regrettable and Malefic, impudent, unconscionable consequentialist extremism mocks Eisenhower, preaches preemptive and systematic circumvention of pacifistic foolish, naive as opposed to warmongering responsible, realistic routes, and advocates the use of threats and force and the expansion and entrenchment of a concomitantly autonomous, sovereign state-military-industrial complex as the only reasonable solution to contentious geopolitical relationships with fellow nuclear states.

So I have finally read it. Indeed, the folder that General Turgidson holds while reading a report on projected nuclear war casualties is titled “Global Targets in Megadeaths”. The Special Importance of Installations.

Princeton University Press Transaction Publishers What really baffled the megadeth intellectuals, their thinking impelled by tacit Indo-European assumptions of strength, was the Taoist concept of strength, based, rather not on the adamant oak and the shock and awe qar the lightning bolt, but on the yielding, “feminine”, elusive element of water.

The book was the first to make sense of nuclear weapons. Popular passages Page 3 You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

On Thermonuclear War by Herman Kahn

Herman Kahn was the ringleader of a group that came to be known as “the megadeath intellectuals. I guess if you are interested in the thinking of a highly intelligent person who believes society can survive a nuclear war, you should read this book.

Members of every faith have, for millenia, spoken of peace and brotherhood. Theocratic visions of an Absolute, as Derrida has pointed out, tend to include an Apocalyptic coda.

As some reviewers have noted, hdrman much has changed in the logic of this standoff since the 50s. Hwrman using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. One may agree with Kahn or disagree with wsr on specific issues, but he clearly defined the terrain of the argument. Although we may not think of these concepts like we did when they were new and startling, this book is in no way less authoritative now. Kahn looked out over the strategic landscape, took in the view, and deemed hundreds of thousands of casualties an acc My dad worked with Herman Kahn in a thermonculear that came to be known as “the megadeath intellectuals.


This book was written when thermonuclear war looked quite likely beforeand suggests various ways to survive this period, the main one being arms agreements with Soviet Union, which was subsequently done.

Yet, all our peace rallies, dreams, loving wag, and international conflicts have, for the last several decades, taken place under a nuclear “umbrella.

On Thermonuclear War – Wikipedia

My library Help Termonuclear Book Search. The Cold War is over, but the nuclear genie is out of the bottle, and the lessons and principles developed in On Thermonuclear War apply as much to today’s China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as they did to the Soviets. Transaction PublishersDec 31, – Political Science – pages. A very clear, well thought out description of how deterrence works, separated in 3 levels: Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi or Maliki?