Lawrence Wittner has taken his vast knowledge of the history of nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament and put it into a more conscise and updated book. His previous trilogy on the bomb, The Struggle Against the Bomb, is a long and detailed account of the movement to restrict the use of nuclear weapons. His new book, Confronting the Bomb, distills that information into a comprehensive account of the worldwide nuclear disarmament campaign.
In a recent post on The Page 99 Test, Wittner applies the “page 99 test” to his new book, describing what the reader will find on page 99 and putting that in the context of the entire book. From the relatively obscure battles to those that are known across the globe, Confronting the Bomb recounts the history of the worldwide campaign against nuclear proliferation and its remarkable impact.
The book is based on massive research in the files of peace groups and in previously top secret government records, as well as on interviews with peace movement leaders and government officials: from Albert Einstein to Harry Truman to Mikhail Gorbachev. With this extensive base of information, several questions arise: How has the world avoided nuclear war since 1945? Why do nuclear countries adopt policies of nuclear restraint? If nuclear deterrence works, why bother with nuclear test bans or treaties?
Wittner attempts to answer these questions in Confronting the Bomb. The nuclear bomb–both its use and nonuse–is a subject that is fraught with difficult moral, political and diplomatic questions. Wittner’s new book makes the history more accessible, and in turn, may help to answer some of the questions that surround such an explosive subject.