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During his impeachment proceedings, Richard Nixon boasted, I can go into my office and pick up the telephone and in twenty-five minutes seventy million people will be dead. In this incisive, masterfully argued new book, award-winning social theorist Elaine Scarry demonstrates that the power of one leader to obliterate millions of people with a nuclear weapon-a possibility that remains very real even in the wake of the Cold War-deeply violates our constitutional rights and is fundamentally at odds with the principles of social contract. When a leader can single-handedly decide to deploy a nuclear weapon, we live in a state of thermonuclear monarchy, not democracy. By reasserting our Constitution, we can abolish nuclear weapons, end thermonuclear monarchy, and secure the safety of foreign populations, home populations, and the earth itself. Scarry's groundbreaking way of thinking will interest anyone alarmed about nuclear arms and the danger they pose to life on earth.