Monthly Archives: August 2007

Arsenals of Folly | Commentary

 What was the nuclear arms race between the U.S. and the USSR all about? Who started it, what fueled it, who deserves blame for the dangers of the nearly five-decade-long contest and credit for bringing it to a close?

These questions are not merely of historical interest. They touch upon the nature of national power in the nuclear age, and they also bear on our current dilemmas with North Korea, Iran, and others. Richard Rhodes, a highly regarded historian who has written comprehensive accounts of the making of the A-bomb and the H-bomb, has now delved into the major issues involved. There is therefore ample reason to welcome the appearance of Arsenals of Folly—or so one would think.

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