Before 1945, the nations of the world could safely assume that any wars fought between them would be damaging but not annihilating. That changed with the deployment of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
The nuclear era challenged previous assumptions about war and peace, as political leaders were forced to ponder how nuclear war could be fought, how it could be prevented, and what the meaning of victory, defense, and survival were. With the Cold War between the Soviets and Western nations growing, one key guiding principle became deterrence through strength, resulting in massive buildups of nuclear arsenals: enough weapons were present to destroy the world a thousand time over.
Along with lingering fears of mass destruction, the nuclear age brought with it serious efforts to reduce nuclear capabilities in order to ensure the survival of the planet. It also brought the promise of nuclear energy, a promise fraught with numerous obstacles regarding safety and security. In recent years new concerns have arisen around the spread of nuclear technology and the potential for “dirty bombs.”
These volumes explore the development of nuclear technology and its use in military weapons and power generation. Documents examined include policy statements, international agreements, threat assessments, reports by watchdog organizations, historical accounts, political speeches, and more.
About the Series
The Defining Documents series provides in-depth commentary and analysis on the most important primary source documents in the United States and the world. The Defining Documents series is perfect for students, those researching a particular era, or anyone interested in world history. Visit www.salempress.com for more information about additional titles in this series.
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