Incoming Stanford freshman will be reading three books on ethics and war this summer recommended by Scott Sagan. Here they are, along with other suggestions from CISAC researchers for summer reading on international affairs, technology, and security.
Underestimating the damage caused by nuclear weapons is an important part of the historical explanation for the inflated force requirements--"overkill"--that led the United States and Soviet Union to build nuclear arsenals in the tens of thousands of warheads. But underestimating damage matters importantly now as well. To paraphrase George Santayana, those who do not understand the past may well be condemned to repeat its errors.