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October 19, 1963

The Population Dilemma.

JAMA. 1963;186(3):276. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710030116036

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A dilemma, by definition, forces a choice between two unsatisfactory alternatives. The dilemma discussed in this volume is the problem of choosing between continued indifference to the burgeoning population growth and formulation of an appropriate plan of action to cope with this growth. The consequences of the first alternative are catastrophic, but passive inertia and active resistance to change make the second choice distasteful.

The decision is an urgent one, as ominous statistics on population growth indicate, but most people do not yet recognize the dilemma. Eight essays in this book draw attention to the problem, clarify the issues involved, and point out that "to ignore the population problem is, in effect, to choose one of the horns of the dilemma—the more costly and dangerous one."

Eleven social scientists, all authorities in their fields, provide the reader with an extensive factual background to help him understand the situation in all

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