The Cold War dominated world affairs during the half century following World War II. It ended in victory for the United States, yet it was a costly triumph, claiming trillions of dollars in defense spending and the lives of nearly 100,000 U.S. soldiers. Apocalyptic anti-communism sharply limited the range of acceptable political debate, while American actions overseas led to the death of millions of innocent civilians and destabilized dozens of nations that posed no threat to the United States.
In a brilliant new interpretation, Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall reexamine the successes and failures of America’s Cold War. The United States dealt effectively with the threats of Soviet predominance in Europe and of nuclear war in the early years of the conflict. But in engineering this policy, American leaders successfully paved the way for domestic actors and institutions with a vested interest in the struggle’s continuation. Long after the U.S.S.R. had been effectively contained, Washington continued to wage a virulent Cold War that entailed a massive arms buildup, wars in Korea and Vietnam, the support of repressive regimes and counterinsurgencies, and a pronounced militarization of American political culture.
American foreign policy after 1945 was never simply a response to communist power or a crusade contrived solely by domestic interests. It was always an amalgamation of both. This provocative book lays bare the emergence of a political tradition in Washington that feeds on external dangers, real or imagined, a mindset that inflames U.S. foreign policy to this day.
“A creative, carefully researched, and incisive analysis of U.S. strategy during the long struggle against the Soviet Union.”
—Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy
“Craig and Logevall remind us that American foreign policy is decided as much by domestic pressures as external threats. America’s Cold War is history at its provocative best.”
—Mark Atwood Lawrence, author of The Vietnam War
The Cold War dominated world affairs during the half century following World War II. America prevailed, but only after fifty years of grim international struggle, costly wars in Korea and Vietnam, trillions of dollars in military spending, and decades of nuclear showdowns. Was all of that necessary?
In this new edition of their landmark history, Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall engage with recent scholarship on the late Cold War, including the Reagan and Bush administrations and the collapse of the Soviet regime, and expand their discussion of the nuclear revolution and origins of the Vietnam War. Yet they maintain their original argument: that America’s response to a very real Soviet threat gave rise to a military and political system in Washington that is addicted to insecurity and the endless pursuit of enemies to destroy. America’s Cold War speaks vividly to debates about forever wars and threat inflation at the center of American politics today.
An unflinching examination of the moral and professional dilemmas faced by physicians who took part in the Manhattan Project.
After his father died, James L. Nolan, Jr., took possession of a box of private family materials. To his surprise, the small secret archive contained a treasure trove of information about his grandfather’s role as a doctor in the Manhattan Project. Dr. Nolan, it turned out, had been a significant figure. A talented ob-gyn radiologist, he cared for the scientists on the project, organized safety and evacuation plans for the Trinity test at Alamogordo, escorted the “Little Boy” bomb from Los Alamos to the Pacific Islands, and was one of the first Americans to enter the irradiated ruins of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Participation on the project challenged Dr. Nolan’s instincts as a healer. He and his medical colleagues were often conflicted, torn between their duty and desire to win the war and their oaths to protect life. Atomic Doctors follows these physicians as they sought to maximize the health and safety of those exposed to nuclear radiation, all the while serving leaders determined to minimize delays and maintain secrecy. Called upon both to guard against the harmful effects of radiation and to downplay its hazards, doctors struggled with the ethics of ending the deadliest of all wars using the most lethal of all weapons. Their work became a very human drama of ideals, co-optation, and complicity.
A vital and vivid account of a largely unknown chapter in atomic history, Atomic Doctors is a profound meditation on the moral dilemmas that ordinary people face in extraordinary times.
An exploration of the nuclear arms race and the dangers arising with the advent of “limited warfare”
After the development of the atomic bomb in 1945, Americans became engaged in a "new kind of war" against totalitarianism. Enemies and objectives slipped out of focus, causing political and military aims to mesh as a struggle to contain communism both at home and abroad encompassed civilians as well as soldiers. In matters relating to Vietnam, Central America, and the nuclear arms race, the domestic and foreign dimensions of each issue became inseparable. Policymakers in Washington had to formulate strategies dictated by "limited war" in their search for peace.
Contributors to this volume demonstrate the multifaceted nature of modern warfare. Robert H. Ferrell establishes the importance of studying military history in understanding the post-World War II era. On Vietnam, Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., gives an intriguing argument regarding the U. S. Army; George C. Herring examines how America's decisions in 1954 assured deepened involvement; and Captain Mark Clodfelter uncovers new evidence concerning "Linebacker I." On the home front, Robert F. Burk analyzes the impact of the Cold War on the battle for racial justice; Charles DeBenedetti puts forth a challenging interpretation of the antiwar movement; and James C. Schneider provides perspective on the relationship between the Vietnam War and the Great Society. On Central America, two writers downplay communism in explaining the region's troubles. Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., fits the Nicaraguan revolution in the long span of history, and Thomas M. Leonard shows how the Reagan administration forced Costa Rica to side with the United States's anti-Sandinista policy. Finally, on nuclear strategy, Donald M. Snow offers a thought-provoking assessment of the "star wars" program, and Daniel S. Papp recommends measures to promote understanding among the superpowers.
These essays demonstrate that the making of foreign policy is immensely complicated, not subject to easy solution or to simple explanation. Despite these complexities, the central objective of policymakers remained clear: to safeguard what was perceived as the national interest.
“Every year when the days begin to stretch and the penetrating heat of summer rises to a scorching point, I am brought back to one sunny day in a faraway land. I was a young child waiting for my mother to come home. On that day, however, the sun and the earth melted together. My mother would not come home. . . .”
Hideko was ten years old when the atomic bomb devastated her home in Hiroshima. In this eloquent and moving narrative, she recalls her life before the bomb, the explosion itself, and the influence of that trauma upon her subsequent life in Japan and the United States. Her years in America have given her unusual insights into the relationship between Japanese and American cultures and the impact of Hiroshima on our lives.
This new edition includes two expanded chapters and revisions throughout. A new epilogue brings the story up to date, covering Hideko’s work as an anti-nuclear activist, including her visit to the Enola Gay at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. This poignant story of courage and resilience remains deeply relevant today, offering a profoundly personal testimony against the ongoing threat of nuclear warfare.
In December 1994, Ukraine gave up the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world and signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, having received assurances that its sovereignty would be respected and secured by Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Based on original and heretofore unavailable documents, Yuri Kostenko’s account of the negotiations between Ukraine, Russia, and the US reveals for the first time the internal debates of the Ukrainian government as well as the pressure exerted upon it by its international partners.
Kostenko presents an insider’s view on the issue of nuclear disarmament and raises the question of whether the complete and immediate dismantlement of the country’s enormous nuclear arsenal was strategically the right decision, especially in view of the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, one of the guarantors of Ukraine’s sovereignty under denuclearization.
Does state acquisition of nuclear weapons lead to stability and peace or instability and crises? This is one of the great debates in international relations scholarship. Michael D. Cohen argues that nuclear weapons acquisition often does dangerously embolden the acquiring state to undertake coercion and aggression, but that this behavior moderates over time as leaders learn the dangers and limitations of nuclear coercion. This book examines the historical cases of the Soviet Union and Pakistan in depth and also looks at mini-cases involving the United States, China, and India. This book broadens our understanding of how leaders and states behave when they acquire nuclear weapons and is important reading for scholars and students of international relations, security studies, and political psychology.
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