- Stalin and the Bomb by David Holloway
Yale, 464 pp, £19.95, September 1994, ISBN 0 300 06056 4
That for forty years the world was far too near the brink of a nuclear holocaust is known to us all in a general way. Nor can we say that the huge armaments still in being may not yet threaten our future. We are only just pulling away from the abyss and there is still much need of cool and careful thought as well as full information about the nuclear issue and its origins. David Holloway explains that ‘the central theme of this book is the development of Soviet nuclear weapons.’ He has ‘tried to provide a coherent – though inevitably incomplete and provisional – analysis of Stalin’s nuclear policy’ in terms of ‘individual decisions taken in particular circumstances’. In this he has achieved a remarkable success.