Stalin and the Bomb, by David Holloway
Few Americans, it is safe to say, lose sleep these days over the fact that Russia’s arsenal of nuclear missiles is still sufficient to destroy us many times over, or because we do not know how tightly and by whom these weapons are guarded and controlled. Nor is the American public much concerned over the by-now considerable stockpile of these dreadful devices in the hands of the Chinese Communists. Russia today is our friend, and China is presumably too busy building capitalism to attack a country which buys billions of dollars’-worth of goods marked “Made in the PRC.”
Such public complacency forms a startling contrast to the alarm felt at the news of the first Soviet nuclear test in 1949, and to the even more traumatic reactionwhen Mao’s China acquired the bomb in 1964—not to mention those nerve-wracking moments during the Berlin and Cuban crises when Nikita Khrushchev indulged in ominous missile-rattling. Yet the problem of nuclear weapons remains central to the security and foreign policy of this country as well as to world peace. For help in understanding this problem and its many ramifications, we are greatly indebted to David Holloway’s book.
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