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The Essential Herman Kahn


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Section 1. Thinking About the Unthinkable: Scenarios, Grand Strategy, and Thermonuclear War Chapter 3 In Defense of Thinking Chapter 4 Twelve Nonissues and Twelve Almost Nonissues Chapter 5 The Revolution in Warfare: Continuities and Discontinuities Chapter 6 On Escalation Chapter 7 Seizing the Moral, Political, and Strategic High Ground Part 8 Section 2. A World Turning Point: Economic Growth, Cultural Change, and the Long View Chapter 9 The Big Picture-And Some Details: Watersheds of History Chapter 10 Viewing Growth in Context Chapter 11 Four Characteristic Views of Two Basic Images of the Earth-Centered Perspective Chapter 12 Some Current Cultural Contradictions of Economic Growth: The New Emphases Chapter 13 Economic Development: Economic and Cultural Parameters Chapter 14 The Alienated-Affluent Society Part 15 Section 3. The Challenge of the Future: Futurology, Methodology, and Policy Research Chapter 16 The Objectives of Future-Oriented Policy Research Chapter 17 The Agnostic Use of Information and Concepts Chapter 18 Forecasting the Future. History Happens in Straight Lines and Curves Chapter 19 A Methodological Framework: The Alternative World Futures Approach Chapter 20 The Method of Classes of Variables Chapter 21 Ways to Go Wrong Chapter 22 Technological Innovation: Mistakes of Omission and Commission Part 23 Section 4. The Task Ahead: Observations, Recommendations, and Parting Polemics Chapter 24 The Normative Perspective and the Ideology of Tomorrow Chapter 25 Transitional Problems Chapter 26 The Expert and Educated Incapacity Chapter 27 Current Western Cultural Trends Chapter 28 Futurology and the Future of Economic Development Chapter 29 The Task Ahead 30 Herman Kahn. A Bio-Bibliographical Note

About the Author

Paul Dragos Aligica is senior fellow at the Mercatus Center of George Washington University, faculty fellow at the James Buchanan Center for Political Economy, associate faculty at the Center for Global Studies at George Mason University, and adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute. Kenneth R. Weinstein is chief executive officer of the Hudson Institute.


Herman Kahn's seminal thinking, extracted in this smart volume, is timeless. From thinking about nuclear war to anticipating the complaints about capitalism and forecasting the future, Kahn offers relevant ideas for today's challenges of terrorism, financial meltdown, and global warming. An indispensible read or re-read! -- Henry R. Nau, The George Washington University
Broken into four parts, The Essential Herman Kahn reflects his wide range of interests: from nuclear strategy to prospects for economic growth, from the state of Western culture to methodologies for forecasting. Kahn, as one might suggest, would be no easy man to condense; but Aligica and Weinstein have done a remarkably good job of it. * The Weekly Standard, September 7, 2009 *
An excellent selection of the works of one of the most original and influential thinkers of our time. -- Mark Blitz, Claremont McKenna College

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