Arms and the Man: Paul Nitze

Paul Nitze, Trim and Silver-Maned, Not Only Looks the Part of the Wise Elder Statesman But Also Plays It to a Fare-Thee-Well, Especially in the Crucial Arena of Nuclear Weapons

He was a canny and successful Wall Street investment banker while still in his 20s, a yuppie before his time. But in 1937, at the age of 30, Paul Nitze experienced a Saul-on-the-road-to-Damascus conversion. He took a leave from the firm of Dillon, Read & Co. to tour his family's ancestral homeland, Germany. Deeply disturbed by what he saw of Adolf Hitler's rule, he returned home -- but not to the world of high finance and private wealth. Instead, he went back to his alma mater, Harvard, to study history, sociology and philosophy: "There were big issues, big questions, big problems...

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