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678 Rhetoric & Public Affairs the Gaither Committee would be useful for laying the political groundwork for such spending. However, the problem was that in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the explosion by the Soviets of a hydrogen bomb, and the launching of Sputnik in late 1957, the public didn't need much persuasion about the danger of the Soviet threat—quite the opposite. Ultimately, the president ended up opposing some of the more extreme recommendations of the Gaither Committee, including a $25 billion dollar expenditure for bomb shelters (total outlays for the entire Federal Government in 1957 were $76 billion). In turn, the Committee's findings were promptly leaked to the press and became the basis for the (unfounded) missile "gap" claim made by Senator John Kennedy in his 1960 race for the presidency. No wonder President Eisenhower in 1961 finished his term railing against the military-industrial complex, many members of which were at the core of the Gaither Committee. Professor Snead has written a well-documented, if sometimes dry account of this very important moment in American history. I am not always sure that the author is able to completely back away from the minutiae of his account to garner the true significance of what was going on at the time. The Gaither Committee, it appears to me, was less important for what it did than what it represented. Whether or not Eisenhower, in the main, approved or disapproved of the Gaither Committee's Report (a point of minor dispute among period scholars) is not as important as the enthusiastic reception and almost unquestioned acceptance of the Committee's findings. This was a significant departure from the American tradition of general military demobilization at the end of a war. What followed the report was the most massive peacetime military buildup in American history. From that point onward, the U.S. was committed to a high level of military preparedness that is still the norm today—even ten years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Other than that minor problem of interpretation, the author does a fine job of documenting the tenor of the times in regard to the transformation of defense policy under the Eisenhower administration. As such, this book becomes essential reading for understanding how we have arrived at the defense policy we are still committed to today. In that regard, the book also tells us something about how defense policy can change. Perhaps the next president should appoint a task force to look into the matter? Daniel P. Franklin Georgia State University No Middle Ground: Women and Radical Protest. Edited by Kathleen M. Blee. New York: New York University Press, 1998; pp. 1 + 315. $18.95. The mission of sociologist Kathleen M. Blee's No Middle Ground: Women and Radical Protest is a familiar one in feminist scholarship: making women visible where they have traditionally been invisible. At issue is radical politics, which Blee Book Reviews 679 loosely characterizes as militant actions occurring outside of mainstream political processes. She argues that radicalism needs to be redefined because traditional scholarship is both incomplete and inaccurate. It is incomplete because the focus on "male-dominated activism (such as labor unions) or on the male leadership of mixed-gender movements (such as the anti-Vietnam war movement)" (2) fails to acknowledge or explain the "full range of women's radical action" (3). It is inaccurate because the scholarship that does exist about women's radical activism "lead[s] to an identification of women's radicalism exclusively with left-wing and feminist politics. . .[ignoring] women as active agents of right-wing, racist, or reactionary politics" (2). No Middle Ground aims to correct the record, and thereby broaden the definition of radicalism, by bringing together essays that recall a variety of cases of women's political activism in the U.S. from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s. Through the narratives of such diverse protagonists as civil rights workers and neoNazis , the authors challenge traditional notions of radical activism by identifying "gender-specific social circumstances, opportunities, barriers, and associations" (5) and examining how these factors shape and are shaped by militant woman across the ideological spectrum. By specifically addressing...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5238
Print ISSN
1094-8392
Pages
pp. 678-681
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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