AUTHORYork, Herbert F.
TITLEThe Advisors: Oppenheimer, Teller, and the Superbomb
PUBLISHERStanford University Press
CITYStanford, CA

A contributor to the development of nuclear arms, Herbert F. York writes this book about the the first hydrogen bomb or superbomb from an insider’s perspective. A short introduction summarizes the nuclear arms race. Then York discusses the debate over whether to continue developing the superbomb after the Soviet Union exploded its own atomic bomb in 1949. The General Advisory Committee (GAC) concluded that development should stop, but President Truman disagreed and it continued. York next examines the superbomb development programs of both superpowers, and discusses the consequences, including Robert Oppenheimer’s loss of security clearance. York believes that stronger arms control efforts should have been made. He argues that an agreement with the U.S.S.R. not to develop the superbomb would not have harmed the U. S. even if the Soviets violated the agreement, because the U.S. would have had time to catch up after the Soviet effort was revealed in a necessary test. The book has two appendixes: the GAC’s report, and a declassified essay by Hans A. Bethe discussing his observations of the development.

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