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Nuclear Threats, Nuclear Fear and the Cold War of the 1980s

$132.00 (C)

Part of Publications of the German Historical Institute

Wilfried Mausbach, Natasha Zaretsky, Eckart Conze, William M. Knoblauch, Martin Klimke, Laura Stapane, Thomas Goldstein, Stephen Milder, Michael Stewart Foley, Susanne Schregel, Patrick Burke, Sebastian Kalden, Lawrence S. Wittner, Tim Geiger, Jan Hansen, Katrin Rücker, Enrico Böhm
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  • Date Published: November 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107136281

$ 132.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book brings together cutting-edge scholarship from the United States and Europe to address political as well as cultural responses to both the arms race of the 1980s and the ascent of nuclear energy as a second, controversial dimension of the nuclear age. Diverse in its topics and disciplinary approaches, Nuclear Threats, Nuclear Fear and the Cold War of the 1980s makes a fundamental contribution to the emerging historiography of the 1980s as a whole. As of now, the era's nuclear tensions have been addressed by scholars mostly from the standpoint of security studies, focused on the geo-strategic deliberations of political elites and at the level of state policy. Yet nuclear anxieties, as the essays in this volume document, were so pervasive that they profoundly shaped the era's culture, its habits of mind, and its politics, far beyond the domain of policy.

    • Brings together scholarship from the United States and Europe to examine the dynamics of anti-nuclear protest movements in the West in the 1980s
    • Contributes to the emerging historiography of the 1980s by focusing on an under-researched aspect of the decade
    • Attests to the vital role of culture in communicating and popularizing anti-nuclear messages, with bearing on transformations in culture in the 1980s as a whole
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Brilliantly framed with deeply researched and consistently insightful essays ranging from popular culture and media, and activist efforts to create nuclear free zones to how nuclear anxiety changes domestic and foreign policy in the United States and Europe, Nuclear Threats, Nuclear Fear and the Cold War of the 1980s is indispensable reading for anyone seeking to understand the 1980s. The volume will shape the field for years to come.' Penny M. von Eschen, Cornell University, New York

    'Ranging from the US to Central Europe, the contributions in this exciting volume focus on the nature of grass roots activism and the challenge for high politics that ultimately contributed to avoiding an atomic catastrophe by a renewal of detente. Even if the collection produces more questions than answers, it is a must read for anyone concerned with preventing the use of nuclear weapons.' Konrad H. Jarausch, University of North Carolina

    'The ‘Second’ Cold War of the 1980s was truly a transnational phenomenon, both within the policy circles where it was launched and among the European and American citizens who experienced and reacted to it. This extraordinary volume brings together a wide range of political, cultural, and social aspects of this frightening era, and offers new approaches, sources, and insights for understanding the events of this time. It is a major contribution to the scholarship on the trans-Atlantic 1980s.' Thomas Schwartz, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee

    'Anxiety about nuclear weapons and nuclear energy permeated western politics and culture in the 1980s. These path-breaking essays, based on exciting new research by a brilliant cohort of historians, demonstrate that such anxieties prompted powerful anti-nuclear movements that altered the course of world politics and global culture in this crucial decade. This book is an outstanding and innovative collection.' William I. Hitchcock, University of Virginia

    'The new edited work Nuclear Threats, Nuclear Fear and the Cold War of the 1980s … is a welcome addition to the existing literature on the history of the 1980s and anti-nuclear activism.' Christian Peterson, Journal of Contemporary History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107136281
    • length: 386 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Nuclear winter prophecies of doom and images of desolation during the Second Cold War Wilfried Mausbach
    2. Atomic nightmares and biological citizens at Three Mile Island Natasha Zaretsky
    3. Missile bases as concentration camps: the role of National Socialism, the Second World War, and the Holocaust in the West German discourse on nuclear armament Eckart Conze
    4. Will you sing about the missiles? British antinuclear protest music of the 1980s William M. Knoblauch
    5. From artists for peace to the Green Caterpillar: cultural activism and electoral politics in 1980s West Germany Martin Klimke and Laura Stapane
    6. A tenuous peace: international antinuclear activism in the East German Writers Union during the 1980s Thomas Goldstein
    7. The 'example of Wyhl': how grassroots protest in the Rhine Valley shaped West Germany's antinuclear movement Stephen Milder
    8. No nukes and front porch politics: environmental protest culture and practice on the second Cold War home front Michael Stewart Foley
    9. Global micropolitics: toward a transnational history of grassroots nuclear-free zones Susanne Schregel
    10. European nuclear disarmament: transnational peace campaigning in the 1980s Patrick Burke
    11. A case of 'Hollanditis': the interchurch peace council and the Christian peace movement in Western Europe Sebastian Kalden
    12. Peace through strength? The impact of the antinuclear uprising on the Carter and Reagan administrations Lawrence S. Wittner
    13. Did protest matter? The influence of the peace movement on the West German government and the Social Democratic Party, 1977–83 Tim Geiger and Jan Hansen
    14. Why was there no 'accidental armageddon' discourse in France? How defense intellectuals, peace movements, and public opinion rethought the Cold War during the Euromissile crisis Katrin Rücker
    15. Building trust: the G7 summits and international leadership in nuclear politics Enrico Böhm.

  • Editors

    Eckart Conze, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
    Eckart Conze is Professor of History at Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany. He is the author of Die Suche nach Sicherheit: Eine Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (2009) and Das Auswärtige Amt: Vom Kaiserreich bis zur Gegenwart (2012).

    Martin Klimke, New York University, Abu Dhabi
    Martin Klimke is Associate Dean of Humanities and Associate Professor of History at New York University, Abu Dhabi. He is the author of The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany and the United States in the Global Sixties (2009), co-author of A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African-American GIs, and Germany (with Maria Höhn, 2010), as well as editor of the publication series Protest, Culture and Society.

    Jeremy Varon, New School for Social Research, New York
    Jeremy Varon is Professor of History at the New School for Social Research, New York. He is author of Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (2004) and The New Life: Jewish Students of Postwar Germany (2014). He is also the co-founder and editor of The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture.


    Wilfried Mausbach, Natasha Zaretsky, Eckart Conze, William M. Knoblauch, Martin Klimke, Laura Stapane, Thomas Goldstein, Stephen Milder, Michael Stewart Foley, Susanne Schregel, Patrick Burke, Sebastian Kalden, Lawrence S. Wittner, Tim Geiger, Jan Hansen, Katrin Rücker, Enrico Böhm

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