Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956

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A distinguished authority tells the spellbinding story of the people and politics behind the development of the Soviet atom bomb. Based on interviews with participants and research in newly opened Soviet archives, the book reveals how the American atomic monopoly affected Stalin's foreign policy, the role of espionage in the evolution of the Soviet bomb, and the relationship between Soviet nuclear scientists and the country's political leaders.

'An indispensable contribution to our knowledge of the modern world.' Robert Conquest, 'London Review of Books'

'A perceptive, highly informative, and altogether excellent book.' Rudolf Peierls, 'New York Review of Books'

'A masterful account of the arms race from the Soviet side.' Gregg Herken, 'Washington Post Book World'

'A superb history that gives fresh insights into the cold war and, even more, into the conditions of intellectual life in Stalin's Russia. This study is a work on the largest scale, one that advances our understanding and is likely to remain definitive for years to come.' Priscilla Johnson McMillan, 'New York Times Book Review'

Winner of the 1995 Vucinich Prize given for the best book in the field of Slavic studies and the Shulman Prize for the best book on Soviet and Post-Soviet Foreign Policy, both awarded by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

David Holloway was born in Ireland and taught at Edinburgh University before becoming professor of political science and co-director, Center for International Security and Arms Control, at Stanford University. He is also the author of 'The Soviet Union and the Arms Race'.

How did the Soviet Union build its nuclear bombs? What role did espionage play? How did American atomic power affect Stalin's foreign policy? Stalin and the Bomb presents spellbinding answers to these questions, as it traces the history of Soviet nuclear policy from developments in physics in the 1920s to the emergence of nuclear deterrence in the 1950s.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Books of the Century
His hardheaded study gives little comfort to liberals and none to revisionist historians....[A] more complete story of Russian nuclear weapons than we have had yet about our own.
New York Times Books of the Century
His hardheaded study gives little comfort to liberals and none to revisionist historians....[A] more complete story of Russian nuclear weapons than we have had yet about our own.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300066647
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 506
  • Sales rank: 1,308,442
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustration Sources
List of Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Ioffe's Institute 8
2 Nuclear Prehistory 29
3 Reacting to Fission 49
4 Making a Decision 72
5 Getting Started 96
6 Hiroshima 116
7 The Post-Hiroshima Project 134
8 The Premises of Policy 150
9 The Atomic Industry 172
10 The Atomic Bomb 196
11 War and the Atomic Bomb 224
12 The War of Nerves 253
13 Dangerous Relations 273
14 The Hydrogen Bomb 294
15 After Stalin 320
16 The Atom and Peace 346
Conclusion 364
Bibliographical Note 372
Notes 375
Biographical Notes 447
Index 453
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