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Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons

Ward Wilson

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


An explosive rethinking of the power and purpose of nuclear weapons — and a call for radical action

Nuclear weapons have always been a serious but seemingly insoluble problem: while they’re obviously dangerous, they are also, apparently, necessary. This groundbreaking study shows why five central arguments promoting nuclear weapons are, in essence, myths. It is a myth:

• that nuclear weapons necessarily shock and awe opponents, including Japan at the end of World War II
• that nuclear deterrence is reliable in a crisis
• that destruction wins wars
• that the bomb has kept the peace for sixty-five years
• and that we can’t put the nuclear genie back in the bottle

Drawing on new information and the latest historical research, Wilson poses a fundamental challenge to the myths on which nuclear weapons policy is currently built. Using pragmatic arguments and an unemotional, clear-eyed insistence on the truth, he arrives at a surprising conclusion: nuclear weapons are enormously dangerous, but don’t appear to be terribly useful. In that case, he asks, why would we want to keep them?

This book will be widely read and discussed by everyone who cares about war, peace, foreign policy, and security in the twenty-first century.

Publishers Weekly Review

Dec 24, 2012 – In this concise analysis of commonly held beliefs about nuclear weapons, Wilson argues that, from the bombing of Hiroshima, policy has been decided based on mistaken suppositions. The first is that the dropping of atomic bombs caused Japan to surrender, rather than the invasion of Manchuria by the formerly neutral Russians. This convenient lie was agreed to by both sides for propaganda purposes. Therefore, according to Wilson, the myth was born that nuclear weapons are so devastating that their existence prevents their use. He points out, with examples, that "destruction does not determine who wins or loses a war." The Cuban Missile Crisis is considered not as proof of the myth but as a negation of it. Another myth Wilson debunks is that the fear of nuclear catastrophe has prevented World War III. He concludes by asking for a revision of attitude because as long as nuclear bombs are viewed as a deterrent to war, nuclear weapons will proliferate. When these myths are extinguished, he contends, nuclear weapons can be discarded as a dangerous tool that is ineffective for the task. Wilson's theories are certain to create discussion and a reevaluation of assumptions on the topic.
Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: World
  • Published: Jan 15, 2013
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 208 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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