The Long Cold Nuclear Winter

Reviewing a book by one’s own mentor, especially when that mentor has recently passed on, can be a difficult enterprise. And yet Larry Badash’s final book, published the year before his death, is worth the task. For those who knew him, A Nuclear Winter’s Tale appears as an expression of a life’s work in scholarship. While it is not schizophrenic, it is filled with the split allegiances to scientific objectivity and humanistic moral principles that characterized his attitudes toward the history of science. Because I met Badash when I was 19 years old, while taking his “Atomic Age” course in college, I have taken up his final book on the subject with a relish and respect few others could match. I owe him an immense intellectual debt, and my views expressed here should be read with that in mind. (This is an essay review of Lawrence Badash, A Nuclear Winter’s Tale (MIT Press, 2009). Read the full review in Metascience)

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