Nuclear Weapons 2E: A Very Short Introduction

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AuthorJoseph M. Siracusa
Published LanguageEnglish
Publication Year2015
PublisherOxford University Press
Ships By2-3 days
SKU: OUP-23 Category:


Despite not having been used in anger since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the atomic 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. In this new edition, Joseph M. Siracusa includes a new concluding chapter, moving away from the emphasis of nuclear weapons in the ‘age of terrorism’, to the significant lessons to be learnt from the history of the nuclear weapons era. Siracusa shows that because 21st century nuclear proliferation has deep roots in the past, an understanding of the lessons of this nuclear history is paramount for future global policies to be successful.

An accessible and eye-opening background to the most deadly weapon ever invented
Examines important and recurring questions about the role of nuclear weapons in modern-day international relations
Explores the global history of the early arms races, beginning with the Hiroshima decision, through to the dawn of nuclear deterrence politics, the Cold War, to what lies ahead
Places the enduring problems of nuclear weapons policy over the past few deacdes into an historical and global context
Examines all issues, from the legacy of missile defence systems and Star Wars, to the current debate regarding terrorism and nuclear alarmism
Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series, over seven million copies sold

About the author
Joseph M. Siracusa, Professor in Human Security and International Diplomacy and Deputy Dean of Global and Language Studies, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia

Additional information

Weight0.12 kg
Dimensions17.53 × 11.43 × 0.76 cm


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2-3 days