advances the case for a systemic defense founded on systemic analysis of a wide range
of potential nuclear threats, the opportunities available to terrorists, and the obstacles
that can preclude their success. Based on this analysis, he develops a capabilities-based
planning approach focused on the entire threat spectrum and a realistic US objective to
prevent such attacks while minimizing the damage if any attack should succeed. In the
concluding chapter the author provides a compelling and substantiated recommenda-
tion for a number of policy goals to be pursued by the US government; policies that
would significantly enhance our defenses against nuclear terrorism.
Levi’s systemic approach is strategic thinking at its best and makes this suc-
cinct work one of the more thoroughly developed studies related to the challenges
confronting both the nuclear terrorist and the threatened state. It is a well-written and
deftly organized book, conveying complex technical data and strategic analysis in an
easily understood style. For both the novice and experienced policymaker or strategist
interested in a comprehensive and unvarnished assessment of nuclear terrorism and the
appropriate responses, OnNuclearTerrorism is certain to be of great value.
Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation. By
Cokie Roberts. New York: William Morrow, 2008. 481 pages.
$26.95. Reviewed by Professor Eugenia C. Kiesling, Professor of
History, US Military Academy.
If journalists are going to write history, then perhaps historians deserve to
receive a set of rules of engagement for reviewing their books. It would be insulting to
many fine books to tar all journalists with the same brush, but one wearies of repeating
concerns about lack of historical methods and fears that complaints will be dismissed
as pedantry—or as the sour grapes of one who will never make a best-seller list. So let
us play nicely.
Relying heavily on their own words as captured in letters and diaries, Cokie
Roberts’s LadiesofLiberty describes key moments in the presidencies of Jefferson,
Adams, Madison, Monroe, and John Quincy Adams as they were experienced—or
shaped—by influential women, thereby illustrating the profound impact of the wives
and daughters of American leaders on political events at home and abroad. Many of
the stories are eye-opening validations of Roberts’s claim that “history looks very dif-