Obituary: Lord Zuckerman

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The Independent Online
'The deterrent Illusion', an article by Lord Zuckerman published in the Times in April 1980, was instrumental in turning my publishing company from poetry to politics, writes Anthony Rudolf (further to the obituaries by Lord Chalfont, Lord Healey and Lord Jenkins of Hillhead). His powerful and authoritative piece scared me. If Zuckerman, not a unilateralist, not a political radical, a man at the heart of the establishment, was worried at the turn things had taken, we had all better get worried, and fast. I wrote to him.

After being quizzed on the telephone, I secured Zuckerman's agreement to the publication of the full essay from which the article had been extracted, 'Science Advisers, Scientific Advisers and Nuclear Weapons'.

It is all very well Lord Chalfont in his obituary objecting to the use CND made of the Mountbatten speech written by Zuckerman, but this did not mean Solly was a member of the Chalfont / Thatcher / Weinberger fringe, a fringe people occasionally tried to associate him with, to his justifiable irritation. His measured view of the peace movement is decribed in his second Menard pamphlet, 'Europe and America and the Nuclear Shadow'. The real divide was not between unilateralists and multilateralists but between disarmers and rearmers.

Zuckerman was a disarmer and more critical of government policy in private than he was in public. But I as a naive idealist will never forget the telephonic and epistolary education I received from Zuckerman in the harsh realities of nuclear politics. It was a very great privilege to be the publisher of his influential pamphlet.