Stalin and the Bomb

October 31, 2020
Stalin and the Bomb

The classic and "utterly engrossing" study of Stalin'spursuit of a nuclear bomb during the Cold War by the renownedpolitical scientist and historian (ForeignAffairs).For forty years the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms race dominatedworld politics, yet the Soviet nuclear establishment was shroudedin secrecy. Then, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union,David Holloway pulled back the Iron Curtain with his "marvelous,groundbreaking study" Stalin and the Bomb (The NewYorker).How did the Soviet Union build its atomic and hydrogen bombs?What role did espionage play? How did the American atomic monopolyaffect Stalin's foreign policy? What was the relationship betweenSoviet nuclear scientists and the country's political leaders?David Holloway answers these questions by tracing the dramaticstory of Soviet nuclear policy from developments in physics in the1920s to the testing of the hydrogen bomb and the emergence ofnuclear deterrence in the mid-1950s. This magisterial historythrows light on Soviet policy at the height of the Cold War,illuminates a central element of the Stalinist system, and putsinto perspective the tragic legacy of this program―environmentaldamage, a vast network of institutes and factories, and a hugestockpile of unwanted weapons.