Despite not having been used in anger since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Bomb is still the biggest threat that faces us in the 21st century. As Bill Clinton's first secretary of defence, Les Aspin, aptly put it: 'The Cold War is over, the Soviet Union is no more. But the post-Cold War world is decidedly not post-nuclear'. For all the effort to reduce nuclear stockpiles to zero, it seems that the Bomb is here to stay. This Very Short Introduction reveals why.
The history, and politics of the bomb are explained: from the technology of nuclear weapons, to the revolutionary implications of the H-bomb, and the politics of nuclear deterrence. The issues are set against a backdrop of the changing international landscape, from the early days of development, through the Cold War, to the present-day controversy of George W. Bush's National Missile Defence, and the threat and role of nuclear weapons in the so-called Age of Terror.
Joseph M. Siracusa provides a comprehensive, accessible, and at times chilling overview of the most deadly weapon ever invented.
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About the Author
Joseph M. Siracusa is Professor in International Studies and Director of Global Studies, at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is internationally known for his writings on nuclear history, diplomacy and presidential politics, and is also a frequent political affairs commentator in the Australian media, including ABC Radio National. He has worked at Merrill Lynch, in Boston; in the Department of History, University of Queensland; and served as a senior visiting fellow in the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, Griffith University. Among his numerous books are The American Diplomatic Revolution: A Documentary History of the Cold War
; A History of United States Foreign Policy
; Depression to Cold War
(with David G. Coleman); Presidential Profiles: The Kennedy Years
; and Real-World Nuclear Deterrence
(with David G. Coleman).