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May 13, 1968

Sanity and Survival: Psychological Aspects of War and Peace

Author Affiliations

Newtown, Conn


by Jerome D. Frank, 330 pp, $5.95, New York: Random House, Inc., 1968.

JAMA. 1968;204(7):637. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140200077038

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Here Dr. Frank, a psychiatrist of broad vision, speaks against war, as indeed do all men of good will. Perfection of weaponry has made the possibility of nuclear war too horrible to contemplate. Among others, Hans Bethe, the Nobel prize physicist, has stated, "both sides can now destroy each other within a day, perhaps an hour."

The arms race has jeopardized the very survival of the human race. Frank vigorously supports the thesis that, despite certain risks, disarmament presents a lesser danger. In pleading for a world government, he affirms, "The formation of a genuine world state... is a necessary condition for an international system of enduring peace."

The author points to lack of mass communications as one of the problems that has impaired trust among nations. Closer knowledge and more personal contacts would diminish mutual hostility. But may not familiarity breed jealousy, envy, and covetousness, as well as contempt?