AUTHORTal, David
TITLEThe American Nuclear Disarmament Dilemma, 1945-1963
PUBLISHERSyracuse University Press
CITYSyracuse, New York
DATE PUBLISHED2008
ISBN978-0-8156-3166-8


This book examines the history of United States disarmament policy from 1945 to 1963 and assesses the reasons for its successes and setbacks. Relying on archival documents and historical studies from the U.S. and the UK, the book explores two major themes: the continuity that characterized U.S. nuclear policy during the time period under discussion, and the dilemma of how the U.S. could balance its values and self-perception with the desire to keep nuclear weapons as protection against war. The book’s first chapter describes the unattainable vision of former President Harry S. Truman with regard to relations with the Soviet Union and blames a lack of negotiation for his administration’s failure to end the Cold War in its earliest years. The book then considers the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, noting elements of continuity from Truman’s administration and new developments spurred by Eisenhower’s adviser on disarmament, Harold Stassen. The last chapter analyzes the factors that led to the breakthrough of 1963, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (LTBT). The book contains extensive notes and a lengthy bibliography.


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