Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jan 15, 2013 - History - 208 pages
4 Reviews
An explosive rethinking of the power and purpose of nuclear weapons — and a call for radical action

Nuclear weapons have always been a serious but seemingly insoluble problem: while they’re obviously dangerous, they are also, apparently, necessary. This groundbreaking study shows why five central arguments promoting nuclear weapons are, in essence, myths. It is a myth:

• that nuclear weapons necessarily shock and awe opponents, including Japan at the end of World War II
• that nuclear deterrence is reliable in a crisis
• that destruction wins wars
• that the bomb has kept the peace for sixty-five years
• and that we can’t put the nuclear genie back in the bottle

Drawing on new information and the latest historical research, Wilson poses a fundamental challenge to the myths on which nuclear weapons policy is currently built. Using pragmatic arguments and an unemotional, clear-eyed insistence on the truth, he arrives at a surprising conclusion: nuclear weapons are enormously dangerous, but don’t appear to be terribly useful. In that case, he asks, why would we want to keep them?

This book will be widely read and discussed by everyone who cares about war, peace, foreign policy, and security in the twenty-first century.
 

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User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

Wilson's five myths are all five just that, but his discussions vary in quality. The critical chapter is the one on the actual impact of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Wilson cites ... Read full review

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User Review  - AmberTheHuman - LibraryThing

Great book. Short and to the point - doesn't get bogged down with what we should be doing, or technical whatnot, or confusing war tactics. He makes points that make sense and are both disturbing and ... Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
1
Myth 1 NUCLEAR WEAPONS SHOCK AND AWE OPPONENTS
21
Myth 2 HBOMB QUANTUM LEAP
54
Myth 3 NUCLEAR DETERRENCE WORKS IN A CRISIS
66
Myth 4 NUCLEAR WEAPONS KEEP US SAFE
87
Myth 5 THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE
104
Conclusion
118
Back Matter
125
Back Flap
189
Back Cover
190
Spine
191
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

WARD WILSON is a senior fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He has spoken before governments and at think tanks and universities, including Stanford, Princeton, Georgetown, the Naval War College, and the United Nations.

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