Friday, Jude 15, 1984
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A former Detroiter's book
examines' the U.S. government's
plans to fight, survive and re-build
after World War III.
Above, the U.S. Postal Service's
emergency change of address card,
filled in fora victim of a nuclear attack.
uch to the chagrin of the
World War III or the ef-
forts of any "limited"
clear war are not in the forefront of
e' Americans' consciousness. But
ey have been in the forefront of the
ind of former Detroiter Edward
ckerman for four years.
Since writing a story for
arper's magazine in 1979 on the
.S. civil defense system, Zucker-
an has been working on little else.
"I ran into some of the govern-
ent's crazy plans for post-attack tax
auctions, how to save the
esident, Postal Service emergency
nge of address cards . . . things
that. Most people figure that if
ere is a nuclear war, that will be
e end of •all of us. Obviously, the
government' has to prepare for those
Zuckerman disclaims any ties to
anti-nuclear organizations. "I think
my approach is unusual," he ex-
plained during his visit to Detroit
last week as part or a two-week,,
nationwide promotional tour. "Many
books say nuclear war is bad and we
shouldn't have one.
"I describe in a straightforward
way our government's plans for fight-
ing, surviving and rebuilding after a
nuclear war." Zuckerman said he is
personally skeptical of the govern
ment's plans. "By presenting all this
material I hope people will become
concerned. " .-
In the aftermath of the Harper's
piece and several subsequent arti-
cles, there has been increased
WAL TER NODY,I.::, LILMHAN
CTV(11111T1, (m0 45:) . 'n
awareness and public debate on
specific issues within the U.S. plans
and on the nuclear warfare issue as a
Most recently there . has been
public comment and ridicule of the
U.S. Postal Service's plans for for-
warding mail to displaced survivors
of any nuclear attack. There have
been two Congressional hearings on
the postal change-of-address cards,
and "the .Postmaster General wrote
an article in the New York Times
defending the cards," Zuckerman
said. "Obviously I hit a nerve."
Other plans discussed in The
Day After World War III include a
special system to figure out who is in
charge of the country in the event of
the death of the President; the Fed-
eral Reserve System will guarantee
checks drawn on all banks, including
those destroyed by nuclear attack;
the president of American Telephone
and Telegraph will work in a special
underground command center, and
AT&T specialists nearby will route
long-distance calls around cities that
. no longer exist.
Zuckerman's book includes more
than 40 pages of bibliographYJ listiing
public sources of information on the
government's plans. The question of
surviving a nuclear war, and the
plans to do so, are receiving increas-
. ing public attention.
`There is a battle going on in
Congress right now over the MX mis-
sile system," Zuckerman pointed out.
"Ten years ago, the Congress would
have passed the MX proposal no-
questions-asked. Now there is public
wrhe •hawk-dove thing is finally
breaking down. Have we reached the
point in our nuclear build-up where,
instead of deterring a nuclear war,
we may provoke an attack because
the other side is so frightened by our
Zuckerman then became a bit
political with the observation that
the Democratic candidates for .
President in 1984 seem •to under-
stand the growing nuclear debate.
"Reagan looks like he may be re-
elected — that will be good for my
book, but not for the country."
He describes' the government
plans as "overly-optimistic, but not
crazy. But I believe that it is . more .
Continued on 'Awe 57