Toward Nuclear Abolition: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, Vol. 3: 1971 to the Present

In This Review

Toward Nuclear Abolition: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, Vol. 3: 1971 to the Present

By Lawrence S. Wittner
Stanford University Press, 2003
688 pp. $75.00
Purchase

With this new volume, Wittner concludes his substantial, meticulously researched, and sympathetic history of the disarmament movement. His previous volume described a movement that was barely the sum of its national parts, constantly dogged by the involvement of communists who maintained that only Western nations had policies deserving of challenge. Over the past three decades, this problem has disappeared. Although national differences remain, Wittner points to major achievements in mobilizing large demonstrations and articulating compelling alternatives to nuclear armament. But Wittner also claims that the movement had an important impact on policy, and here he is less convincing. He cites, for example, Ronald Reagan's decision to "swim with the anti-nuclear tide" during his second term as a victory for the movement. In reality, Reagan had been antinuclear since the 1940s. More than ten years after the end of the Cold War, the goal of nuclear abolition remains distant. The real contribution of the antinuclear movement has been its ability to give voice to public anxieties when governments take too many risks with the ultimate weapon.

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue