The Twilight of the Bombs: recent challenges, new dangers, and the prospects for a world without nuclear weapons

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Alfred A. Knopf, 2010 - History - 366 pages
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This culminating volume in Richard Rhodes’s monumental and prizewinning history of nuclear weapons offers the first comprehensive narrative of post–Cold War nuclear challenges. It examines the nuclear turning point the present day represents and casts a hopeful eye to the future.With his extraordinary depth of knowledge and understanding, Rhodes makes clear how the five original nuclear powers—Russia, Great Britain, France, China, and especially the United States—have struggled with new realities. He shows us how the stage was set for a second tragic war when Iraq secretly destroyed its nuclear infrastructure and reveals the real reasons George W. Bush chose to fight a second ground war. We see how the efforts of U.S. weapons labs laid the groundwork for nuclear disarmament in the former Soviet Union; how and why South Africa secretly built and then destroyed a small nuclear arsenal; how Jimmy Carter’s private diplomacy prevented another Korean War. Rhodes assesses the emerging threat of nuclear terrorism and our complicated relationships with North Korea and South Asia. Finally, he imagines what a postnuclear world might look like, and what might make it possible.Powerful and persuasive—an essential work of contemporary history.

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About the author (2010)

Richard Rhodes is the author or editor of twenty-three books, including The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which won a Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award, and Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, which was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in History. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, and a host and correspondent for public television’s Frontline and American Experience. He lives near Half Moon Bay, California.

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