Helen Caldicott Books

The single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises, Dr. Helen Caldicott, is devoted to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction. Helen Caldicott is an internationally recognized antinuclear activist, co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and founder of the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament and the International Physicians to Save the Environment. She lives in Australia.


If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Save the Earth (Revised and updated)
By Helen Caldicott

W.W. Norton & Company (revised and updated 2009); ISBN: 978-0-393-33302-2

“Helen Caldicott has the rare ability to combine science with passion, logic with love, and urgency with humor.” — Naomi Klein.

From the leader and spokeswoman of the antinuclear movement comes a revised and updated edition of this groundbreaking, widely acclaimed classic.

Exploring dangerous global trends such as ozone depletion, global warming, toxic pollution, food contamination, and deforestation, Helen Caldicott presents a picture of our world and the forces that threaten its existence.

As always, she gives a prescription for a cure and cause for hope, rallying readers to action with the contention that our fight for the planet will draw its strength from love for the Earth itself.

From the Reviews

“Caldicott’s role in the movement has always been to ring the alarm bell, and her charisma remains undimmed. ... The doctor is in.” — East Bay Express

"God bless Helen Caldicott and her troops.” — Los Angeles Times

“Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out.” — Meryl Streep

“Caldicott is extraordinary.” — Seattle Times

War in Heaven: The Arms Race in Outer Space
By Helen Caldicott, Craig Eisendrath

Publisher: The New Press (2007); ISBN: 978-1-59558-114-3

A revelatory look at the U.S. Government's plan to put weapons in outer space, by two bestselling experts.

"During the early portion of the twenty-first century, space power will also evolve into a separate and equal medium of warfare ... The emerging synergy of space superiority with land, sea, and air superiority will lead to Full Spectrum Dominance." - from U.S. Space Command Vision for 2020

When most of us think about the potential of outer space for future generations, we think of world communications, satellite navigation, and scientific exploration. U.S. Space Command, however, thinks about weapons. Believing that conflict in space and wars fought from space are inevitable, the president has called on the agency to weaponize outer space and thus provoke an arms race that could cost the United States trillions of dollars and could lead to the demise of the human race.

In War in Heaven, a Nobel Prize-nominated peace activist and a former U.S. foreign service officer (who helped write the Outer Space Treaty of 1967) look at the history of military uses of space and the current plans for "militarizing the heavens," including kinetic, laser, nuclear bombardment, and anti-satellite weapons. Contrary to the claims of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that the United States faces a "space Pearl Harbor," Caldicott and Eisendrath show that the United States itself is today the principal obstruction to passage of an international treaty banning weapons from outer space.

At a time when plans to build and deploy space weapons are on the administration's agenda but only just becoming known to the general public, this book will help launch a national discussion of a critical issue.


Straight Magazine, 22 March 2007: Helen Caldicott (If You Love This Planet) has teamed up with former U.S. Foreign Service diplomat Craig Eisendrath ... and if much of the material is familiar to Canadians wary of U.S. imperialism beyond the stratosphere ... its call for peace among the stars is still depressingly unheard south of the 49th. The book is compelling, and its authors well-versed in the complexities of rocketry, missile-defence theory, and multilateral treaty making ... read more.

Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer
By Helen Caldicott

Publisher: The New Press (2006); ISBN: 978-1-59558-067-2
Melbourne University Press (2006): ISBN 0522 85251 3

In a world torn apart by wars over oil, many politicians are increasingly looking for alternative sources of energy - and their leading choice is often nuclear. Among the myths that have been spread over the years about nuclear-powered electricity are that it does not cause global warming or pollution (i.e., that it is "clean and green"), that it is inexpensive, and that it is safe. But the facts belie the barrage of nuclear industry propaganda:

  •   Nuclear power contributes to global warming.

  • The real costs of nuclear power are prohibitive (and taxpayers pick up most of them).

  • There's not enough uranium in the world to sustain long-term nuclear power.

  • Potential for a catastrophic accident or terrorist attack far outweighs any benefits.

Trained as a physician, and - after four decades of antinuclear activism - thoroughly versed in the science of nuclear energy, the bestselling author of Nuclear Madness and Missile Envy here turns her attention from nuclear bombs to nuclear light-bulbs. As she makes meticulously clear in this damning book, the world cannot withstand either.

The edition published by Melbourne University Press contains a special preface for Australian readers.


Guardian, 14 October 2006: Helen Caldicott's icily alarming indictment of the nuclear industry [...] is limpid and expertly argued. Caldicott, a doctor by training, is especially rigorous on the carcinogenic hazards of [nuclear] waste ... read more.

Kansas City Star, 8 October 2006: If you’re going to read one book on the environment this fall, make it Helen Caldicott’s Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer ... a must-read for anyone interested in the subject ... read more.

Edmonton Journal, 10 September 2006: Helen Caldicott is to the international campaign against nuclear energy development what Stephen Lewis is to the international campaign to eradicate HIV-AIDS: thoroughly informed, intensely passionate, and completely committed to the cause. Of all her books, this may be Caldicott's most powerful yet ... read more.

Publishers Weekly, 17 July 2006: Caldicott's latest anti-nuke book searingly debunks the claim that the impending "nuclear power renaissance", purported by some to be the only answer to global warming, is "clean and green" ... read more.

The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex, Revised and Updated Edition
By Helen Caldicott

Publisher: The New Press (2001, revised and updated 2004) (US, Canada, UK);
ISBN: 1565847407

Scribe Publications (2002) (Australia); ISBN:0908011652
Lemnicaat (2003) (The Netherlands); ISBN: 905637494 (Book titled Nieuw nucleair gevaar)
Hugenduble Verlag (2003) (Germany); ISBN: 3720523853 (Book titled Atomgefahr USA)

"A timely warning, at a critical moment in world history, of the horrible consequences of nuclear warfare." Walter Cronkite

On September 18, 2001, one week after the World Trade Center disaster, Lockheed Martin, the country's leading manufacturer of conventional weaponry, nuclear delivery systems, and national missile defense, took a full-page ad in the New York Times echoing JFK's famous call to "pay any price to assure the survival and the success of liberty." The ad offered an unusually public display of what is typically the invisible hand and muscle of the arms industry guiding American sentiment and government.

In her uncannily timely new book, Dr. Helen Caldicott looks at the indebtedness of the Bush Administration to the arms industry and warns of the incredible dangers inherent in allowing weapons manufacturers to dictate foreign policy. Recounting the history of government collusion with industry, Caldicott shows how the merging of weapons firms in the 1980s created hugely powerful "death merchants," including Lockheed and others, ready to lobby politicians and manipulate public opinion on behalf of their corporate interests.

Now, with unprecedented acts of terrorism fueling the American public's willingness to grant its government broad power to wage war, the constant pressure from weapons makers to use military force -- and by extension, buy more of their weapons -- poses the very real threat of nuclear war. Enumerating, as a physician, the medical consequences of such a war, Caldicott demonstrates conclusively that the notion of nuclear survival is a complete fantasy, and that nuclear victory is an oxymoron.

In the same way that a generation embraced Caldicott's hugely influential Nuclear Madness and Missile Envy, The New Nuclear Danger stands to educate, alert, and mobilize millions of young people and concerned citizens, who must understand the planetary threat posed by overly aggressive nuclear scientific establishments and weapons industries in a volatile world. The edition published by Scribe Publications contains a specially written chapter for Australian and New Zealand readers. 

A Desperate Passion: An Autobiography
By Helen Caldicott

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company (1996); ISBN: 0393316807

"She showed me what one set-on-fire human being can do to shift the consciousness of the world." Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

"Dr. Helen Caldicott," the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle declares, "is back on the scene." A Desperate Passion is Caldicott's engaging, inspiring memoir, chronicling her life both on and off the scene. Raised in Australia and trained as a physician, she first found her voice protesting French nuclear tests in the Pacific. Years later she rose to international prominence, founding Physicians for Social Responsibility, "which did perhaps more than any other group to thrust the nuclear issue under the public eye" (New York Times).

"Driven by intense passions, she seems to have adopted the world's population as her children. And all of us are probably better off as a result" (East Bay Express Books) - but Caldicott, wife and mother of three, found that her success did not come without cost. This is a personal story too, a candid, revealing self-portrait of a woman who has not relinquished her remarkable efforts to save the world.

"Our contaminated air and our fractured earth demand a doctor's attention in the nuclear age, and the doctor on this case is a master." Bloomsbury Review

"Helen Caldicott was the First Lady of the Nuclear Freeze Movement in the 1980s. This story, by an extraordinary woman, is a compelling memoir of those extraordinary times." Edward M. Kennedy 

Nuclear Madness: What You Can Do
By Helen Caldicott

Publisher: Bantam (1979) W.W. Norton & Company (revised 1994); ISBN: 0393310116

"As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced," says Dr. Helen Caldicott in Nuclear Madness.

In this completely revised, updated, and expanded edition of her classic book, Caldicott defines the dangers of nuclear power, discusses the insidious influence of the nuclear power industry and the American government's complicity in medical "experiments" using nuclear material, and calls on us to accept the moral challenge to fight against it, both for our own sake and for that of future generations. The disaster at Chernobyl and the "incidents" at other plants around the world have disproven the image of "safe" nuclear power, and developing nuclear technology in the Third World poses still further risks.

This is an eminently useful book as the George W. Bush Administration and atomic energy brokers push ahead with major plans to revive support for nuclear power and build many new plants, with green washing campaigns in major media outlets calling nuclear power "environmentally preferable." 

If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth
By Helen Caldicott

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company (1992); ISBN: 0393308359

"Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out." Meryl Streep

Our planet is desperately ill and must be healed. If the human race does not change its present behavior, the ecosphere may be doomed within the next ten years. A renowned anti-nuclear activist for twenty years, Helen Caldicott here turns from the arms race to the race to save the planet, laying out the grim details of ozone depletion, excess energy consumption, pollution, and global warming. The causes: public apathy, corporate greed, and the cynical manipulation of political leaders.

To save the planet we need to change the way we think and behave. Closer contact with, and appropriate reverence for, nature will help to provide simple answers to seemingly complex problems.

If You Love This Planet describes in easy-to-understand language the scientific and medical consequences of the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, deforestation, species extinction, toxic chemical pollution, nuclear waste, food contamination, and the ever-present threat of nuclear war.

Caldicott, a physician by training, also gives us a prescription for cure - and a cause for hope. We must learn energy efficiency, we must organize politically (voting, she suggests, should be compulsory), and we must hold corporations and governments accountable for their actions. Above all, she says, our fight for the planet will draw its greatest strength from a love for the Earth itself.

Issued in a revised and updated edition on Earth Day, 1 June 2009.

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