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CFP: Edited Collection, Nuclear Weapons in the Cold War

February 9, 2015

(Proposals Submission Deadline, Feb 9, 2015)

The destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by American atomic weapons in August 1945 began an arms race between the US and the Soviet Union. This lasted until the signing of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty of November 1990. An entire generation grew up under the shadow of imminent catastrophe. There were widespread fears that humanity could not survive. A single reckless leader, or even a mistake or misunderstanding, could initiate the extinction of mankind. Stockpiles of fearsome weapons were built up to levels far beyond any conceivable purpose, and only seemed to add to the uncertainty and instability of their age.

Did Cold War leaders act irrationally through fear and distrust? Was there a degree of rationality and reason behind the colossal build up?
Did nuclear weapons cause the Cold War? Did they contribute to its escalation? Did they help to keep the Cold War cold? We should also ask how the Cold War shaped the development of atomic energy. Was the nuclear arms race a product of Cold War tension rather than its cause?

At a time of global economic and political uncertainty and the emergent threat of international terrorism and nuclear proliferation, these are important questions that still need further investigation. The purpose of this book therefore is to gather new academic research by historians and political scientists on the history of nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

Possible topics included but not limited to:
Military crises
Effect of nuclear race on culture and society
Transatlantic relations
Third world
Race issues
Nuclear Proliferation

Proposals of 500 words submitted in a word doc together with a brief bio and contact info should be sent to m.oliva@reading.ac.uk  by February 9, 2015.

Full chapters due May 31, 2015


February 9, 2015
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