Put down the briefcase. Pry the BlackBerry from your fingers, and take a second to muse over art, culture, and, um, … nuclear proliferation. At Politics and Prose yesterday evening, William Langewiesche, the international editor for Vanity Fair and the former national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly, read from his new book, Atomic Bazaar, and fielded questions about the rise of nuclear-armed third world countries.
Langewiesche discussed the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, A.Q. Khan, stateless terrorists groups with nuclear weapons, and Iran developing an arsenal that could conceivably make Robert Oppenheimer’s head spin. The good news, according to Langewiesche, is that the new generations of atomic states will almost certainly not use these weapons of mass destruction. Comforting, no?