In Nuclear Statecraft, Francis J. Gavin challenges key elements of the widely accepted narrative about the history of the atomic age and the consequences of the nuclear revolution.
Gavin reassesses the strategy of flexible response, the influence of nuclear weapons during the Berlin Crisis, the origins of and motivations for US nuclear nonproliferation policy, and how to assess the nuclear dangers we face today. Archival evidence makes it clear that decision makers were more concerned about underlying geopolitical questions than about the strategic dynamic between two nuclear superpowers.
Gavin's rigorous historical work not only tells us what happened in the past but also offers a powerful tool to explain how nuclear weapons influence international relations.
"Nuclear Statecraft is a provocative and fascinating book. The writing is lucid, the analysis tightly woven and sophisticated, and the book's core conclusion... is well argued and compelling. This book makes a significant contribution to the body of scholarly research about the evolution of US nuclear policy." (Janne E. Nolan, Nonproliferation Review)
"Gavin not only succeeds in disentangling postwar nuclear history from the US−Soviet rivalry of the Cold War, but provides a deeper and more complex understanding of the long-term effects of nuclear weapons on Great Power relations." (Matthew Jones, International Affairs)
"Francis J. Gavin's elegant and eloquently argued Nuclear Statecraft is a useful and timely reminder to appreciate better the historical origins of the contemporary nuclear world.... Nuclear Statecraft is a must acquisition for academic and public libraries." (Journal of American History)
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