An American TragedynEric N. Skousen: The “NuclearnWar; The Freeman Institute; Salt LakenCity.nby Allan C. CarlsonnThere is a strong element ofnthe tragic in Eric Skousen’s talenof the rise and fall of thennuclear-power option in thenUnited States. It might benloosely compared to the historynof science in ancient China,nwhere extraordinary technologicalninnovations languished unappreciatednuntil they werenborrowed or stolen by a morendynamic civilization. ProfessornSkousen retells the fascinatingndetective story behind the discoverynof the atom’s secrets,ncapturing the sense of awesomenachievement which accompaniednhumankind’s tapping ofnthis unlimited power source.nHe then describes the rise of thenantinuke movement, a mixturenof the nihilistic radical politicsnof the 1960’s and the “MenGeneration” irresponsibility ofnthe 1970’s. Primeval fears, inflamednrhetoric, and half-truthsncombined by 1975 into a potentnpolitical force. “The mediancrowded around [the ‘antinukes’]nfor any small words ofnwisdom,” Skousen explains.n”Money began to flow in theirndirection. … In vain, the nuclearnindustry attempted a fewnfeeble refutations, but it wasntoo late. The public had beennscared.”nNow, in 1982, that industrynis in shambles. No new plantsnDr. Carlson is editor 0/PersuasionnAt Work.n34inChronicles of Cultttrenhave been ordered since 1980;n16 existing orders were cancelednin that year alone. Costnoverruns brought on by legalnand regulatory delays havendriven the price tag for plantsnalready under construction ton10 times their initial estimates.nThe appalling stupidity in allnthis lies in the enormous energynresource which this nation has,nby default, nearly forsworn. Forninstance, the 230,000 tons ofnU-238 nuclear waste now beingnstored in Federal facilities havena potential worth of over $20ntrillion if the USA—like Francenand the Soviet Union—wouldncommit itself to the breederreactornoption. This fuel reservenalone could provide Americanwith all its energy needs fornseveral centuries. Proven, yetnunmined, uranium and thoriumnreserves within U.S. boundariesncould add still morenthousands of years of assurednpower. Yet, as the nuclear optionnwithers, both stored andnAbout the PontiffnGeorge Huntston Williams:nThe Mind of John Paul IT.nOrigins of His Thought andnAction; Seabury Ptess; New York.nby Marek M. MichalskinThe first Slavic pope and thenonly one in this century to be annacademician, Karol Wojtyla, anMr. Michalski holds an M.A.nfrom the Catholic University ofnAmerica in Washington, D. C.nunmined uranium becomesnonly so much worthless rock.nBut what about safety?nSkousen skillfully decimates thenmyths surrounding the “risks”nof nuclear power. For example,nplutonium, the atomic fiiel usednin a “breeder,” is not “the mostntoxic substance known to man.”nWhen ingested, it is only 1 / 30thnas toxic as arsenic, a common industrialnchemical. Botulin toxinnis one billion tiines more toxicnthan plutonium. In fact, annequivalent one-cup solution ofnplutonium is no more poisonousnthan the caffeine found in then10 cups of coffee some blearyeyednAmericans drink every day.nThis gracefully written littlenbook is aimed at a college freshmannaudience. Professor Skousennhopes to reverse the disastrousncourse which our nationalnenergy debate has taken over thenpast decade. However, despitenhis efforts and the near-franticnattempts by Reagan appointeesnon the Nuclear Regulatory Commissionnto streamline the plantlicensingnprocess, the book maynalready be merely an exercise innfutility. “The nuclear industry isnso far gone,” antinuke activistnRichard Udell recently gloatednbefore a Wall Street Journalnreporter, “that nothing cannrevive it at this point.” That is,nindeed, an American tragedy. Dnman of remarkable scholarship,nis now a world leader for thencauses of spirituality, dignity,nand human rights. Recently, thenSeabury Press published a biographicalnand theological interpretationnof his collected philosophicalnwork.nProfessor Williams, of thenHarvard Divinity School, is himselfna Protestant and a Churchnhistorian. He first met the currentnPope in 1962 at Vatican IInand has long been a close follow­nnner of Karol Wojtyla’s works andncareer. Williams seems to havendelved deeply into the specificnfactors of John Paul II’s background—thencomplex traditionnof the Polish Church, the philosophynof phenomenology, mysticism,nand poetry. World WarnII and the communist aftermath,nand, finally, contemporarynCatholic scholarship. He appearsnto be familiar with thenclose bonds between the Churchnand nation, religious tolerancenand the defense of liberties, cohabitationnof ecumenical moves,nMarian devotion, Polish messianism,nand religion and nature.nJust two years before he wasnelected as Pontiff, Cardinal Wojtylanauthored a Lenten meditationnentitled “Sign of Contradiction.”nAbout that Williamsnwrites: “The great Polish mystic,nmetropolitan, and moralist isnnow, as Pontiff, himself a sign ofncontradiction—in his physicalnand intellectual prowess, his admirablenself-possession and selfdisciplinenin all circumstances,nthe liberality and even winsomenunconventionality of his tactics,nand his gentle severity in his administrationnof the See of St.nPeter.”nWilliams suggests the relationshipnof the Pope’s philosophicalndevelopment with hisntheological conservatism. Wojtyla’sn”acting person” is a rational,nresponsible being whonperforms under the suppositionnof “free will, a normative ethic,nan absolute truth and a goodnand bad moral value of everynact.” Wojtyla’s studies of MaxnScheler illustrate how the Popenutilized phenomenology andnneo-Thomism to develop annoriginal philosophical positionnof his own. Wojtyla maintainsnthat faith develops through intellectnwhile hope and love grownthrough will. He interrelates theninner and outer acts of a personnwith the responsible self, who isnboth subject and object and thusnin a unique epistemologicaln