Herman Kahn
Chapter 15.  The Year 2000:  A View from 1967

  Herman Kahn became known first for his work on nuclear strategy, later gained a reputation as a futurist.  Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, in 1922, he did graduate work in physics at the California Institute of Technology, then joined the Rand Corporation where he worked on military strategy.  Unlike many other scholars and strategists, he believed that nuclear war could be won. At Rand, he studied the application of such analytic techniques as game theory and systems analysis to military theory. In 1961 he founded the Hudson Institute, where he conducted research into questions of national security and the future. 
His writings include On Thermonuclear War (1961), Thinking About the Unthinkable (1962), On Escalation (1965), The Emerging Japanese Superstate (1970), The Future of the Corporation (1974), The Japanese Challenge (1979), and Thinking About the Unthinkable in the 1980s (1984).  It is widely believed that the title character Stanley Kubrick's classic cold war satire Dr. Strangelove,(played by Peter Sellers, 1964) was modeled in part on Kahn.  Herman Kahn died in 1983.


Links:

Hudson Institute home page (including information on Herman Kahn's role in its founding and continuing influence on its ethos).

"Choosing a Perspective on the Future," an essay on how to think about the future by Herman Kahn (reprinted in American Outlook magazine, Summer 1998).

Statement of President Ronald Reagan on the death of Herman Kahn, July 8, 1983.

Herman Kahn, "Danger Invites Rescue:  Good Decisions Require Reliable Information About the Future" (from American Outlook magazine, Fall 1998).



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Updated December 23, 2000