Thinker of the Unthinkable

Herman Kahn: 1922-1983

From a mind that was at once brooding and sparkling, eclectic and intense, ideas poured forth that were able to shock a nation and yet influence its policies. Treating nuclear war as unthinkable, he said, made it all the more probable, and the U.S. must prepare to survive one. He predicted the boom of Japan's economy well before the Datsun invasion; more recently he warned of problems that lie ahead for that island nation. For the U.S., he saw a new golden age during the next two decades marked by disappearing poverty, an upsurge of productivity and an abundance...

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