Since their inception, nuclear weapons have multiplied at an alarming rate, leaving everyone from policymakers to concerned citizens wondering what it will take to slow, stop, or even reverse their spread. With clarity and expertise, Joseph Cirincione presents an even-handed look at the history of nuclear proliferation and an optimistic vision of its future, providing a comprehensive survey of the wide range of critical perspectives.Cirincione begins with the first atomic discoveries of the 1930s and covers the history of their growth all the way to current crisis with Iran. He unravels the science, strategy, and politics that have fueled the development of nuclear stockpiles and increased the chance of a nuclear terrorist attack. He also explains why many nations choose not to pursue nuclear weapons and pulls from this the outlines of a solution to the world's proliferation problem: a balance of force and diplomacy, enforcement and engagement that yields a steady decrease in these deadly arsenals. Though nuclear weapons have not been used in war since August 1945, there is no guarantee this good fortune will continue. A unique blend of history, theory, and security analysis, Bomb Scare is an engaging text that not only supplies the general reader and student with a clear understanding of this issue but also provides a set of tools policymakers and scholars can use to prevent the cataclysmic consequences of another nuclear attack.
The story of the twentieth century is largely the story of the power of science and technology. Within that story is the incredible tale of the human conflict between three men-Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller-the scientists most responsible for the advent of weapons of mass destruction. How did science, enlisted in the service of the state during the Second World War, become a slave to its patron during the Cold War-and scientists with it? The story of these three men, is fundamentally about loyalty-to the country, to science, and to each other-and about the wrenching choices that had to be made when these allegiances came into conflict.
Gregg Herken gives us the behind-the-scenes account based upon a decade of research, interviews, and new documents. Brotherhood of the Bomb is a vital slice of American history told authoritatively-and grippingly-for the first time.
Perhaps no scientific development has shaped the course of modern history as much as the harnessing of nuclear energy. Yet the twentieth century might have turned out differently had greater influence over this technology been exercised by Great Britain, whose scientists were at the forefront of research into nuclear weapons at the beginning of World War II.As award-winning biographer and science writer Graham Farmelo describes in Churchill's Bomb, the British set out to investigate the possibility of building nuclear weapons before their American colleagues. But when scientists in Britain first discovered a way to build an atomic bomb, Prime Minister Winston Churchill did not make the most of his country's lead and was slow to realize the Bomb's strategic implications. This was odd--he prided himself on recognizing the military potential of new science and, in the 1920s and 1930s, had repeatedly pointed out that nuclear weapons would likely be developed soon. In developing the Bomb, however, he marginalized some of his country's most brilliant scientists, choosing to rely mainly on the counsel of his friend Frederick Lindemann, an Oxford physicist with often wayward judgment. Churchill also failed to capitalize on Franklin Roosevelt's generous offer to work jointly on the Bomb, and ultimately ceded Britain's initiative to the Americans, whose successful development and deployment of the Bomb placed the United States in a position of supreme power at the dawn of the nuclear age. After the war, President Truman and his administration refused to acknowledge a secret cooperation agreement forged by Churchill and Roosevelt and froze Britain out of nuclear development, leaving Britain to make its own way. Dismayed, Churchill worked to restore the relationship. Churchill came to be terrified by the possibility of thermonuclear war, and emerged as a pioneer of d tente in the early stages of the Cold War. Contrasting Churchill's often inattentive leadership with Franklin Roosevelt's decisiveness, Churchill's Bomb reveals the secret history of the weapon that transformed modern geopolitics.
Here, for the first time, in a brilliant, panoramic portrait by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, is the definitive, often shocking story of the politics and the science behind the development of the hydrogen bomb and the birth of the Cold War.Based on secret files in the United States and the former Soviet Union, this monumental work of history discloses how and why the United States decided to create the bomb that would dominate world politics for more than forty years.
Reconstructs the events leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945
Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
Finalist for The California Book Award in Nonfiction
The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2017 List
In These Times "Best Books of 2017"
Huffington Post's Ten Excellent December Books List
LitHub's "Five Books Making News This Week"
From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness expos of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day.
Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
Framed as a memoir--a chronicle of madness in which Ellsberg acknowledges participating--this gripping expos reads like a thriller and offers feasible steps we can take to dismantle the existing "doomsday machine" and avoid nuclear catastrophe, returning Ellsberg to his role as whistle-blower. The Doomsday Machine is thus a real-life Dr. Strangelove story and an ultimately hopeful--and powerfully important--book about not just our country, but the future of the world.
The world entered the atomic age in August 1945, when the B-29 Superfortress nicknamed Enola Gay flew some 1,500 miles from the island of Tinian and dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The "Little Boy" bomb exploded with the force of 12.5 kilotons of TNT, nearly destroying the city. Three days later, another B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The Japanese government, which had been preparing a bloody defense against an invasion, surrendered six days later. The aircraft was the primary artifact in an exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum from 1995 to 1998. The original, controversial exhibit script was changed, and the final exhibition attracted some 4 million visitors, testifying to the enduring interest in the aircraft and its mission. This book tells the story of the Enola Gay, the Boeing B-29 program, and the combat operations of the B-29 type. After nearly two decades of restoration, the Enola Gay will be one of the highlights of the museum's new Udvar-Hazy Center, which is scheduled to open at Dulles International Airport on December 15, 2003.
Fallout dismantles the conventional story of why the atom bomb was built. Peter Watson has found new documents showing that long before the Allied bomb was operational, it was clear that Germany had no atomic weapons of its own and was not likely to. The British knew this, but didn't share their knowledge with the Americans, who in turn deceived the British about the extent to which the Soviets had penetrated their plans to build and deploy the bomb.
The dark secret was that the bomb was dropped not to decisively end the war in the Pacific but to warn off Stalin's Russia, still in principle a military ally of the US and Britain. It did not bring a hot war to an abrupt end; instead it set up the terms for a Cold one to begin.
Moreover, none of the scientists recruited to build the bomb had any idea that the purpose of the bomb had been secretly changed and that Russian deterrence was its new objective.
Fallout vividly reveals the story of the unnecessary building of the atomic bomb, the most destructive weapon in the world, and the long-term consequences that are still playing out to this day.