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Matthew Grant

v 5 v The imaginative landscape of nuclear war in Britain, 1945–65 Matthew Grant The prospect of nuclear destruction was a central, defining part of the British experience in the years following the Second World War. Fighting the Cold War was not solely the task of diplomats, spies, or even ‘cultural front’ organisations. Fighting a third total war in the lifetime of many in Britain seemed a very real prospect. At the heart of Britain’s Cold War was the risk of being attacked with nuclear weapons. The diplomatic and military strategy of Britain throughout the

in Understanding the imaginary war
Physicians and their therapies for the Cold War
Claudia Kemper

v 10 v ‘The nuclear arms race is psychological at its roots’:1 physicians and their therapies for the Cold War Claudia Kemper ‘Wars begin in the mind, but the mind is also capable of preventing war.’2 The Cold War from a medical perspective Physicians are members of a respected profession and at the same time an elite minority, whose special social position is particularly called upon when state and society find themselves in a crisis, above all in armed conflict.3 Traditionally, physicians involved in conflicts carry out their role after an episode of

in Understanding the imaginary war
Lars Nowak

v 12 v Images of nuclear war in US government films from the early Cold War Lars Nowak If one essential element of the Cold War was the terrifying imagination of a possible future war that would be fought with nuclear weapons, a particularly powerful means of articulating this emotionally charged fantasy was the medium of cinema, whose moving images and sounds are capable of lending preconceptions of the vividness of reality and thus evoking the spectator’s feelings in a very direct way. For this reason, a deeper look into cinematic representations of nuclear

in Understanding the imaginary war

Edward P. Thompson's activities and writings were diverse spanning literature, history, fiction and poetry, biography, adult education, socialist and libertarian politics, and peace-movement activism. This book explores the various aspects of his intellectual and political work, and its legacy to later generations of radical thinkers and activists in Britain and internationally. Thompson taught exclusively literature classes for the first three years at the University of Leeds, and aimed to attain and maintain a university standard of adult education. The book examines the way in which The Making of the English Working Class grew out of Thompson's day-to-day work at Leeds. Although Thompson's fusion of Marxism with social history constituted the central attraction of his work, he himself bore a degree of responsibility for subsequent dismissals of the Marxist dimension in his work. The book examines Thompson's career-long commitment to literature and to the craft of writing, and makes clear some significant continuities and contrasts within Thompson's specifically literary output. Thompson's concept of socialist humanism retained a resonance and distinctiveness for the twenty-first century, which was a defining characteristic of the early New Left after 1956. The content of Thompson's analyses provides us with one of the richest account of the flesh and blood of emancipation, and the experience, suffering, failure and courage of the working class. The book also looks at his peace movement from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s and 1960s to the European Nuclear Disarmament in the 1980s.

Nuclear winter in science and the world
Paul Rubinson

v 11 v Imagining the apocalypse: nuclear winter in science and the world Paul Rubinson Imagining Mars; imagining nuclear war Although rigorously trained in the rules of the scientific method, the astronomer Carl Sagan frequently relied on his imagination. At times, in fact, he could only use his imagination, since his proclaimed field of exobiology consisted of the study of life in outer space – something not yet proven to exist. Sagan’s imagination was especially active when it came to Mars; at one point he even pondered whether the moons of Mars were

in Understanding the imaginary war
Culture, thought and nuclear conflict, 1945–90

This volume takes the metaphorical character of the Cold War seriously and charts how the bomb was used as a symbol for nuclear war at the very heart of this conflict. The contributions consider the historical relevance of the political, cultural and artistic ramifications of nuclear weapons as signifiers for a new type of conflict. Tis understanding of the metaphorical qualities of the Cold War is encapsulated in the notion of an imaginary war, or, more precisely, a war against the imagination. As an attack against the imagination, the nuclear threat forced politicians and ordinary people to accept the notion that preparations for nuclear annihilation would contribute towards peace, and that the existence of these weapons, and the anticipation of large-scale destruction that came with them, were an inescapable corollary of security, freedom and future prosperity on both sides of the Cold war divide.

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The Cold War as an imaginary war
Matthew Grant and Benjamin Ziemann

war and peace. Nuclear weapons were crucial for these multiple meanings of the Cold War: and the ‘bomb’ itself became the central metaphor of the Cold War. It was the harbinger of destruction, the symbol of what became a vast arsenal of power that seemed to threaten the very existence of humanity. But it was also, by its very destructiveness, the guarantor of peace: the way both blocs could ‘deter’ aggression, providing peace through strength. Living ‘under the shadow’ of the bomb signified anxiety and dread, and the image of the mushroom cloud became the central

in Understanding the imaginary war
Nuclear themes in American culture, 1945 to the present
Paul Boyer

v 4 v Sixty years and counting: nuclear themes in American culture, 1945 to the present* Paul Boyer (†) In his 1978 autobiography, Arthur Koestler, author of the anti-Communist classic Darkness at Noon, wrote the following: ‘If I were asked to name the most important date in the history and prehistory of the human race, I would answer without hesitation 6 August 1945. The reason is simple. From the dawn of consciousness until 6 August 1945, man had to live with the prospect of his death as an individual; since the day when the first atomic bomb outshone the

in Understanding the imaginary war
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Debating Cold War anxieties in West Germany, 1945–90
Benjamin Ziemann

NATO in December 1979 to offer negotiations between the superpowers over the mutual reduction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles, but to deploy 572 US Pershing II and cruise atomic missiles in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK in case these negotiations failed. In their collective obsession with the potential results of an all-out nuclear war, the angst-ridden people in West Germany were a crucial factor in the complicated negotiations that followed the dual-track decision. Richard Perle (who, as US undersecretary of defence from 1981 to 1987

in Understanding the imaginary war
Daniel Gerster

upon a dualism between ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ and justified war against heretics or non-believers as God-wished or God-made.3 In addition, Christians affected by war and violence were always looking for explanations for war in order to come to terms with their fate. They found relief by imagining the violent act of war as ‘God’s revenge’ or as the beginning of the apocalypse.4 During the Cold War, Christians could employ these centuries-old discourses when experiencing the ongoing nuclear arms race as a mental threat – an imaginary war. In this chapter, I examine how

in Understanding the imaginary war