AUTHORHolloway, David
TITLEStalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956
PUBLISHERYale University Press
CITYNew Haven, CT

This book traces the history of Soviet nuclear policy from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938 through the testing of the hydrogen bomb and the emergence of nuclear deterrence in the mid-1950s. Holloway describes the use of espionage in obtaining bomb information from the Americans, Stalin’s approach to atomic diplomacy, the surprising autonomy of Soviet physics, the scientists’ interaction with police in Russia, and the impact of Stalin’s death. Perhaps the most interesting theme of the book is the author’s claim that it was only after the Americans dropped atomic bombs on Japan that the Soviets recognized their strategic importance and made a nuclear energy program a top priority. The book contains an excellent set of bibliographical notes.

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