Balanced compendium on disarmament issues - for general reader; Arm Disarm for Peace: The Nuclear Threat and East-West Relations-edited by Waris Shere. Winnipeg: Hyperion Press Ltd. 143 pp. $7.50 (US) - Paperback.

Mark Hendrickson, who has a doctorate in economics, is an independent businessman in western Pennsylvania.

Arm Disarm for Peace: The Nuclear Threat and East-West Relations, edited by Waris Shere. Winnipeg: Hyperion Press Ltd. 143 pp. $7.50 (US)

The easy-to-read essays in ''Arm Disarm for Peace'' - which include contributions by such noted diplomatic figures as Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and George P. Shultz, and their British counterparts, Francis Pym and James Callaghan - provide various perspectives on the dual issues of US-Soviet relations and arms control. Editor Waris Shere is to be complimented for his intellectual integrity in bringing together viewpoints so well balanced that the reader would never suspect that Shere himself favors ''total disarmament,'' as he explains in his preface.

The individual who is searching for answers to these momentous questions may well find something in this anthology that would contribute to a fuller understanding of the complex issues. On the other hand, the individual who is well read in these areas will find little that is new, and will, in fact, find certain political characters blowing smoke, skirting the crux of issues, or injecting self-serving statements. George Shultz's essay, for example, is at once the most eloquent and the most evasive.

Most welcome to this reviewer was ''Peace, Freedom, and the Peace Movement in the Federal Republic of Germany,'' by Franz Josef Strauss. This essay intelligently addresses the question of Christian pacificism. It also contains insightful gems, such as: ''History tells us that peace has never been secured through yielding to a brutal will of might.'' Alas, Herr Strauss also commits a major blunder - namely, the sanguine hope that ''the powerbrokers of the Communist world (will) understand that freedom and the right to self-determination are the best guarantors for mutual understanding between East and West and for the securing of peace in the world.'' Those expecting the communists to accept the ''freedom and the right to self-determination'' may have to wait ''until shrimp learn how to whistle'' to borrow Khrushchev's memorable phrase.

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