Living With Peril

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Overview

Living with Peril explains in detail how the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations adapted to the reality of a Soviet nuclear force capable of destroying the United States and against which there was no effective defense. Wenger illuminates the development, implementation, and evolution of U.S. government policies designed to avoid war and to respond to the vulnerability of nuclear destruction. Drawing from a wealth of sources, Wenger provides an insightful and original perspective on the origins of cold war nuclear diplomacy. This is crucial reading for students and scholars of international relations, peace and conflict studies, and diplomatic history.
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Editorial Reviews

Political Studies Review
It is one of the many strengths of Wenger's exemplary and well-researched study to remind a new generation of IR students (whose indifference to history is wondrous to behold) of the complexity of a world that once was, but is no more.
— Michael Cox, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
R. L. Wendzel
Thoroughly researched and well argued, this book makes a major contribution to the literature.
Niall Michelsen
Meticulously documented and researched...Highly recommended for historian of the nuclear age and for students pursuing research topics in this area or time period.
Richard H. Ullman
Wenger's highly readable account comes as close as historians are likely to get to an authoritative retelling of a complex past.
Cambridge Review of International Affairs - Patricia Ownes
Wenger narrates a compelling account of the political and psycological forces that shaped the nuclear weapons strategies of Eisenhower and Kennedy. Wenger convincingly demonstrates that the level of destruction inherent in nuclear use created a gap between the theory and pratice of nuclear strategy. Wenger contributes a timely reminder of these realities and the continuing importance of the past for comtemporary nuclear debates.
Joseph Richard Goldman
Historians and political scientists will find new insights into the debate surrounding the Cold War and American policy based on deterrence and change . . . a real tour de force.
Political Studies Review - Michael Cox
It is one of the many strengths of Wenger's exemplary and well-researched study to remind a new generation of IR students (whose indifference to history is wondrous to behold) of the complexity of a world that once was, but is no more.
Nuclear Learning
During the presidential administrations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy the United States slipped from a position of massive nuclear superiority over the Soviet Union to one of perceived mutual vulnerability. Drawing extensively upon archival materials, Andreas Wenger, a leading young Swiss analyst of world politics, argues that these were the decisive years of the nuclear era, the years when the most
Cambridge Review Of International Affairs
Wenger narrates a compelling account of the political and psycological forces that shaped the nuclear weapons strategies of Eisenhower and Kennedy. Wenger convincingly demonstrates that the level of destruction inherent in nuclear use created a gap between the theory and pratice of nuclear strategy. Wenger contributes a timely reminder of these realities and the continuing importance of the past for comtemporary nuclear debates.
— Patricia Ownes
Political Studies
It is one of the many strengths of Wenger's exemplary and well-researched study to remind a new generation of IR students (whose indifference to history is wondrous to behold) of the complexity of a world that once was, but is no more.
— Michael Cox, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847685158
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Andreas Wenger is deputy director of the Center for Security Studies and Conflict Research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction 1
Pt. I Eisenhower and Overwhelming Nuclear Superiority
1 The Integration of Nuclear Weapons into American National Security Policy 13
2 The Impact of the Strategic Nuclear Balance on Policy 49
3 The Impact of the Thermonuclear Revolution on Policy 85
4 The Nuclearization of NATO: A Delicate Balance 105
Pt. II Eisenhower and Evolving Mutual Vulnerability
5 Eisenhower's Approach: Buying Time with Tactical Nuclear Weapons 123
6 Into the Missile Age: Does Relative Strength Matter? 145
7 Eisenhower, Nuclear Weapons, and Policy at the End of the 1950s 173
Pt. III Kennedy and Perceived Mutual Vulnerability
8 Kennedy's Approach: A Strategy of Multiple Options 181
9 The Berlin Crisis: Example of Self-Deterrence or Successful Manipulation of Risk? 197
10 Nuclear Politics - Symbols and Signals: How Political Considerations Affected Military Strategy, Planning, and Budgets 241
11 The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Impact of the Nuclear Danger on Policy 273
12 The Detente of 1963: Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis 305
Conclusions 313
Notes 323
Bibliography 439
Index 455
About the Author 463
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