AUTHORHerken, Gregg
TITLEThe Winning Weapon: The Atomic Bomb in the Cold War 1945-1950
PUBLISHERPrinceton University Press
CITYPrinceton, NJ

This carefully documented, well-written book discusses the role of the atomic bomb in the early Cold War as America’s supposed winning weapon. Herken depicts the flaws in the American belief that the bomb could be used to dominate diplomatic affairs, especially in the Berlin crisis of 1948. In addition, he reveals that the United States bluffed with an atomic arsenal that was actually very small. Herken’s main contention is that nuclear weapons failed as successful bargaining tools in diplomacy. He argues that America’s nuclear hypocrisy led to the failure of international controls, which in turn led to an intensification of the arms race. Good bibliography.

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