Deadly Gambits, Strobe Talbott (Vintage). Despite an elegant and dispassionate writing style cultivated during 14 years of reporting for Time magazine, Strobe Talbott, like President Reagan or Mikhail Gorbachev, relies in part on personal conviction to help guide him through the numbers, acronyms and accusations that superpowers trade during the arms talks. "Nuclear weapons," he writes, "exist to be talked about, not to be used. Largely for that reason, it is another central and again, paradoxical part of their nature that they exist to be controlled." Talbott's outlook sets him apart from the President, who, Talbott writes, has caused "the most serious and protracted breakdown" in arms control talks since nuclear negotiations began in 1958. Unlike Reagan or Gorbachev, Talbott has examined the issue from points of view both Eastern and Western: Talbott, currently Washington bureau chief for Time, translated and edited two volumes of Khrushchev's memoirs. Consequently, this 1984 book, updated to include talks under Gorbachev, explores the arms race with global, rather than national, interests in mind.
Between Man and Man; The Prophetic Faith, Martin Buber (Macmillan). Martin Buber's work was born, in part, out of Soren Kierkegaard's concern that individual identity is being eroded in "the present age." "First of all," wrote Kierkegaard, "come great dreams, then a feeling of laziness, and finally a witty or clever excuse for remaining in bed." But, while many readers believe that isolation is essential to Kierkegaard's vision of cultivating self, Buber stresses the importance of a meaningful exchange between one being and another. "Between Man and Man" expands on this view, positing that relations between man and God are not abstract, but inspired and direct. "The Prophetic Faith," in turn, looks at the relationship between Jews and their God, as expressed in Old Testament literature.