‘Thermonuclear Monarchy,’ by Elaine Scarry out

‘Thermonuclear Monarchy,’ by Elaine Scarry – NYTimes.com. I taught Scarry’s Thinking in an Emergency last year, which starts with the claim that all emergency thinking is anti-democratic, leaving power for a declared emergency in the hands of a few. The reviewer of this new book wonders why she spends time on Swiss plans if a nuclear war should come as strange, but it’s an example she used in Thinking, and for her, I presume, she wants to link such planning to the ultimate emergency that would come before the unleashing of such a weapon and its aftermath. Also, this paragraph is quite chilling:

Scarry illustrates her point most effectively early on, quoting Richard Nixon in 1974, when he was threatened with impeachment. Revealingly, he told reporters, “I can go into my office and pick up the telephone, and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead.”