AUTHORRenaker, John
TITLEDr. Strangelove and the Hideous Epoch: Deterrence in the Nuclear Age
PUBLISHERRegina Books
CITYClaremont, CA
DATE PUBLISHED2000
ISBN0-941690-99-7


This book describes the history of deterrence in American military policy during the nuclear age, specifically within the framework of Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The author, John Renaker, gives a summary of the film, its characters, and its source material, especially Peter George’s novel Red Alert. He maintains that through the absurdity of the movie Kubrick argued that nuclear war was not a possibility, as neither Soviets nor Americans would willingly initiate it or create protocols that would automate the process, such as the Doomsday Machine of the film. With that understanding, Renaker provides a history of warfare, military strategy, and deterrence during the Cold War, focusing on the effects that nuclear weapons did or did not have in the way war was conducted. In particular, Renaker discusses the evolution of Carl von Clauswitz’s concepts of war in the Weinberger Doctrine, as well as the dominance of limited war during the Cold War. An appendix provides an abridged script of the film.


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