The director of the Hayden Planetarium and his research associate examine the troubling symbiosis between astrophysics and armed military conflict, which has relied on the science's technological advancements for surveillance and weaponry.
The authors have done a remarkable amount of research. The hardcover includes over 100 pages of notes; the list of source materials runs 14 pages ... The book is clearly organized by scientifically minded authors. While varied and associative enough to be interesting, the writing is always directed toward illuminating the research. But there is literary flair to the language as well ... Accessory to War condenses multiple bodies of work into one important, comprehensive and coherent story of the symbiotic developments of astrophysics and war.
...a powerful report ... The book makes for fascinating reading. The history, dating back to Ancient Greece and before, and stretching to current events, is meticulously researched. There are copious notes and bibliographical references. The science is carefully explained, with Tyson's trademark passionate clarity ... Tyson retells the history of space exploration, and of the Cold War, excelling in bringing forth the entangled advances of science and military interests ... The book's message rings like a wakeup call, even if an uncomfortable one for the pacifists out there ... Tyson and Lang do end the book on a somewhat positive note, arguing that with future space exploration the situation is different.
As the authors of this exquisitely-researched new work note, astrophysicists and military planners care about many of the same things: multi-spectral detection, ranging, tracking, imaging, high ground, nuclear fusion, and access to space ... As Accessory to War continually reminds us, the garnering of scientific knowledge and technology is very much a multi-generational endeavor. For despite great strides in technology over the last century, we are still asking some pretty fundamental questions about the universe ... Accessory to War is precisely the kind of hefty historical, technological, and scientific tome that should be widely read and discussed.