Mr. Rosenbaum’s books are both profound and excitable. They resemble grad school seminars that have been hijacked by the sardonic kid in the back, the one with the black sweater and nicotine-stained fingers. Mr. Rosenbaum sometimes writes as if he were pacing the seminar room floor, scanning for sharp new ideas. At other times, it’s as if he were passing around red wine and a hookah, seeking to conjure deep, mellow, cosmic thoughts. He’s pretty good in both modes.
His new book, “How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III,” gives us both Mr. Rosenbaums, for better and occasionally for worse. This book is a wide-angle and quite dire meditation on our nuclear present; Mr. Rosenbaum is convincingly fearful about where humanity stands.
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news,” he declares, “but we will all have to think about the unthinkable again.” Our holiday from history is over.
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