A Letter From the Publisher: Jun. 3, 1985

Few areas are as complex and difficult to explore as the subject of this week's cover story, nuclear proliferation. Nations jealously guard their nuclear secrets. Moreover, the issues arising from the global spread of nuclear technology demand knowledge in many disciplines. Says Associate Editor George Russell, who wrote the main narrative: "It's an expertise that is a very strange combination of physics, engineering, politics, psychology and diplomacy."

Russell became absorbed in the proliferation problem while writing TIME's 1981 cover story on the Israeli attack against Iraq's Tammuz nuclear reactor. At that time, remembers Russell, "I called down 30 or 40 books...

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