Several Harvard professors radically disagreed last night about President Kennedy's patiently-awaited announcement of the resumption of atmospheric testing in the Pacific.
David Riesman, Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences, was among the voices of dissent that opposed the resigned acceptance of most of Cambridge. He deplored the entire concept of treating international relations like an automobile race. "In a game of 'chicken,' the relative speed of the two cars, or even how loud their horns are, doesn't make much difference."
"And simply to blame the Russians for the failure of negotiations is not very enlightening" to the complications of diplomacy. To threaten them is not asking for their agreement to anything, Riesman observed.
Stanley H. Hoffmann, associate professor of Government, however, termed the President's address "an extremely effective, impressive speech, worthy of a horrible situation." To resume testing is the only alternative to "a piecemeal surrender in the familiar manner of the 30's," and any responsible statesman would have made the same decision.
Hoffmann, Friedrich and Ernest R. May, associate professor of History, held out some hope for the Geneva Conference later this month. "It would be delightful if the Russians even agreed to negotiate seriously," May declared.