Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race

Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race

Richard Rhodes

Language: English

Pages: 432

ISBN: 0375713948

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes delivers a riveting account of the nuclear arms race and the Cold War.

In the Reagan-Gorbachev era, the United States and the Soviet Union came within minutes of nuclear war, until Gorbachev boldly launched a campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons, setting the stage for the 1986 Reykjavik summit and the incredible events that followed. In this thrilling, authoritative narrative, Richard Rhodes draws on personal interviews with both Soviet and U.S. participants and a wealth of new documentation to unravel the compelling, shocking story behind this monumental time in human history—its beginnings, its nearly chilling consequences, and its effects on global politics today.

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Nitze, Richard Perle, Max Kampelman, Kenneth Adelman, and Poindexter’s military assistant, Robert Linhard, inside what Adelman calls “the smallest bubble ever built”—the Plexiglas security chamber, specially coated to repel electromagnetic radiation and mounted on blocks to limit acoustic transmissions, that is a feature of every U.S. Embassy in the world. Since the State Department had seen no need for extensive security arrangements for negotiating U.S. relations with little Iceland, the

(HEU) in the Acknowledged Nuclear Weapon States, 11 June 2004, Revised 25 June 2004, Table 1, n. 1. “CHANGED THE…INSPECTIONS”: Harahan and Kuhn (1996). GROMOV CROSSING, WAR DEATHS: Oberdorfer (1992), p. 243. CSCE: For a detailed account of this and the following discussion, see Harahan and Kuhn (1996). “KNOWN AS…ACCORD”: Harahan and Kuhn (1996), Chapter 1 a., p. 2. “FOR US…IT!”: Gorbachev (1995), p. 502. “WANTED TO…BEGAN”: T. Graham (2002), pp. 190–91. “THE PRINCIPLE…ESTABLISH”: Gorbachev

[with hydrogen bombs]; rather, only to attack such targets as are necessary in war in order to impose the national objectives of the United States upon the enemy.” (The distinction between military and civilian targets had already become a distinction without a difference in the Second World War. In the 1930s and early 1940s, Japan and Germany had initiated terror bombing against cities such as Shanghai, Warsaw, and London, deliberately targeting civilians. When British and American attempts at

being installed to replace an earlier generation of Soviet liquid-fueled missiles that required hours to launch and were therefore useful only for a first strike, Schmidt’s advisers convinced him, he wrote, that “the Soviet Union has upset the military balance in Europe.” Since Carter appeared to be more concerned with intercontinental strategic assets than European-theater assets, Schmidt agitated for a NATO response, and, in a 1977 speech, invoked for the first time a requirement of parity

of the Soviet leaders during those times that has emerged since the collapse of the Soviet Union makes me think there is a good chance—with all of the other events in 1983—that they really felt a NATO attack was at least possible and that they took a number of measures to enhance their military readiness short of mobilization. After going through the experience at the time, then through the postmortems, and now through the documents, I don’t think the Soviets were crying wolf. They may not have

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