Nuclear Proliferation Reading List
Supplemental readings and other resources to help you explore a full range of issues and debates related to the module materials.
Zachary Laub, “The Impact of the Iran Nuclear Agreement,” last updated May 8, 2018.
An easy-to-read summary of the Iran nuclear agreement. (2,100 words)
Ankit Panda, “‘No First Use’ and Nuclear Weapons,” last updated July 17, 2018.
A digestible summary of American nuclear policy. (2,300 words)
Joseph Cirincione, “What Should the World Do With Its Nuclear Weapons?,” Atlantic, April 21, 2016.
An article that challenges many of the narratives about nuclear weapons put forward by the media and by President Donald J. Trump in a fun, approachable way. (1,800 words)
Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz, “The Long Shadow of A. Q. Khan,” Foreign Affairs, January 31, 2018.
An article that tells the story of Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani nuclear scientist who sold his knowledge to countries that wanted to begin nuclear programs, looking for a lesson for ongoing nuclear nonproliferation efforts. (2,700 words)
John Hersey, “Hiroshima,” New Yorker, August 31, 1946.
A classic journalistic account of the effects of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, as told through the lives of six ordinary people. First published in the New Yorker, this piece is also available as a book. (152 pages/30,000 words)
Adam Mount, “Trump’s Troubling Nuclear Plan,” Foreign Affairs, February 2, 2018.
A critical look at the Donald J. Trump administration’s nuclear policy. (1,600 words)
George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, and Sam Nunn, “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons,” Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2007.
A piece written by four former senior U.S. officials that briefly lays out a path to ridding the world of nuclear weapons. (1,400 words)
Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb, 2012.
A succinct, compelling graphic novel that tells the story of the first atomic bomb, focusing both on the scientific side of its development and on the story of how the people who worked on it came to recognize its power and consequences. (150 pages)
John Hersey, Hiroshima, 1989.
A classic journalistic account of the effects of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, as told through the lives of six ordinary people. First published in the New Yorker, it is also available in book form. (152 pages/30,000 words)
Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, 1986.
A classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the development of the first atomic bombs. (896 pages)
Stephen M. Younger, The Bomb: A New History, 2001999.
A brief introduction to nuclear weapons technology and policy—an excellent starting place for many readers. (256 pages)
Carnegie Corporation of New York. ”U.S.-Russia Relations: Quest for Stability," 2019.
An extensive collection of videos, timelines, and interactive maps and graphs about historical and current issues in U.S.-Russia relations.
Morgan Knibbe, “The Atomic Soldiers,” New York Times February 12, 2019.
A chilling collection of interviews in which U.S. soldiers who were assigned to be close to atomic tests describe what it was like to experience a nuclear blast. (15 minutes)
“Radiolab: Nukes,” WNYC Studios, April 7, 2017.
An exploration of the American nuclear chain of command from the award-winning podcast. (58 minutes)
“Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail,” PBS, July 29, 2015.
A documentary on uranium and the science behind nuclear technology, both peaceful and military. Clips are available here. (2 hours)
“What Happens in a Bomb Blast?,” Outrider.
A well-designed tool for visualizing the impact of a nuclear explosion, with clear explanation of each effect. This is a similar tool with more options but less explanation.