William Burr and Jeffrey P. Kimball, Nixon's Nuclear Specter: The Secret Alert of 1969, Madman Diplomacy, and the Vietnam War. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2015. 448 pp.

Editor's Note: The publication of Nixon's Nuclear Spector, by William Burr and Jeffrey P. Kimball, in 2015 generated a good deal of discussion about the nuclear dimension of coercive diplomacy. Drawing extensively on U.S. archival evidence, Burr and Kimball explore the Nixon administration's attempts to force a settlement of the Vietnam War by relying on nuclear threats. We asked two distinguished scholars—Robert Jervis and Mark Atwood Lawrence—to offer their assessments of the book. Their commentaries are presented here along with a reply by Burr and Kimball.

When I was asked to contribute to this symposium, my initial instinct was to decline because I had read the book already. But then I thought I might get even more out of it...

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