The Long Road to Reykjavik

Both sides in Iceland were dealing with the legacy of a minisummit held 19 years ago in Glassboro, N.J., that preceded a dramatic buildup in the nuclear-arms race

The Reykjavík meeting was similar to one between President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in June 1967. That encounter too was organized on short notice, without a prearranged outcome and with only a few advisers on each side. Johnson relied most heavily on his Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, later head of the World Bank and currently a director of the Ford Foundation. The following exclusive excerpt from his forthcoming book, Blundering into Disaster: Surviving the First Century of the Nuclear Age (Pantheon Books; $14.95), recounts that fateful meeting and its consequences.

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