Ron Rosenbaum examines every possible nuclear threat scenarion in a pacey, conversational style that makes it a highly enjoyable read.
How the End Begins: The nuclear threat in all its modern forms
Margaret Thatcher once asserted that nuclear weapons "had kept the peace in Europe for 40 years".
Now 25 years after Cold War paranoia started to recede, debate on the nuclear threat appears to have gone off the radar, as foreign policymakers focus on fighting terrorism.
This is a mistake, according to Rosenbaum, who revels in revealing how close the world has come to oblivion, and could do so again.
He says: "The threat of nuclear war is back, and we have to face it again... We were worried about nuclear terrorism in 2007, but not nuclear war. Nuclear war: so retro."
Practically every possible scenario is examined and a stinging sense of foreboding, as well as a pacey, conversational style, renders the book highly readable.
The author examines the possibilities: maybe in the Middle East, with an Islamic state versus Israel (which continues to deny the extent of its arsenal) or the US and Russia, which still have thousands of missiles pointed at each other; the dangerously ambitious North Korea; and Pakistan (Al Qaeda, tensions with India and links to the Taliban).
Rosenbaum nails his colours to the mast and warns world leaders: "Nothing justifies following orders for genocide."
Or as Maggie would say : "No, NO, NO!"