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Apocalypse Never

Tad Daley

Publication Year: 2010

Apocalypse Never illuminates why we must abolish nuclear weapons, how we can, and what the world will look like after we do. Tad Daley has written a book for the general reader about this most crucial of contemporary challenges. On the wings of a brand new era in American history, Apocalypse Never makes the case that a comprehensive nuclear policy agenda from President Obama, one that fully integrates nonproliferation with disarmament, can both eliminate immediate nuclear dangers and set us irreversibly on the road to abolition. In jargon-free language, Daley explores the possible verification measures, enforcement mechanisms, and governance structures of a nuclear weapon-free world. Most importantly, he decisively argues that universal nuclear disarmament is something we can transform from a utopian fantasy into a concrete political goal.

Published by: Rutgers University Press


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pp. vii

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1. Apocalypse Soon?

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pp. 1-16

The area was growing rapidly: every year thousands of acres of venerable Illinois farmland, some tilled by young Lincoln’s contemporaries a century and a half earlier, simply disappeared. In its stead arose sprawling new housing developments. The new houses were soon filled with new children, who needed new schools. And the new schools needed...

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2. The Essence of the Problem: America's Nuclear Hypocrisy

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pp. 17-37

In June and July of 2006, an enormous tempest arose over the possibility that North Korea might test a long-range Taepodong 2 missile. Pyongyang’s sin? Some believed that such a missile might someday be able to reach the west coast of the United States. In response to this perceived threat, the U.S. government issued repeated warnings to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il. The talking heads...

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3. The Nightmare of Nuclear Terror

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pp. 38-65

Nuclear terrorism is almost certainly the most likely nuclear threat today, and it may well be the single greatest immediate peril facing world civilization today. This chapter articulates the nuclear terror scenario, emphasizing how easy it could be to implement and how difficult it will be to prevent. But that case has been amply made elsewhere. This chapter makes a case that has rarely been made...

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4. Accidental Atomic Apocalypse

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pp. 66-84

One of the best book titles of recent years was Lethal Arrogance: Human Fallibility and Dangerous Technologies, released in 1999 by Lloyd J. Dumas of the University of Texas.1 You almost don’t need to read the book after seeing that title. You know how it’s going to come out in the end. Dumas issues a stark warning about the hubris of believing that we can control anything we can invent:...

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5. Nuclear Crisis Mismanagement: “There Would Be No Learning Curve”

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pp. 85-95

In November 2008, about a week after the horrific terror attacks in Mumbai, India, an astonishing episode came to light. The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that, during the waning hours of the sixty-hour-long siege, the president of nuclear-armed Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, took a phone call from the foreign minister of nuclear-armed India, Pranab...

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6. Intentional Use: The Nuclear Legacy of George W. Bush

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pp. 96-110

A nuclear terror attack, executed by a non-state actor, is one terrifying scenario by which an actual nuclear detonation might take place. An accidental nuclear launch or even an accidental nuclear war, from the potent nuclear arsenal of a state, is another. And an international political confrontation between nuclear-armed states spinning wildly out of control,...

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7. The Grand Bargain of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Rules of the Nuclear Game Today

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pp. 111-124

The year 2008 was filled with anniversary commemorations and remembrances of the many epochal historic events that had taken place four decades earlier, during the seminal year of 1968: The Tet offensive in Vietnam, which for the first time caused many Americans to comprehend that this was a war we might actually lose; the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.,...

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8. Nuclear Weapons are Militarily Unnecessary and Militarily Useless. For Us.

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pp. 125-154

Ivo Daalder and Jan Lodal both served as nuclear policy advisors to the presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama. During the transition period after his election, their article “The Logic of Zero: Toward a World Without Nuclear Weapons,” appeared in the November–December 2008 issue of Foreign Affairs, the quintessential forum for America’s foreign policy elite.1 The article...

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9. The Architecture of a Nuclear Weapon-Free World

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pp. 155-188

My childhood pastor at St. Edna’s Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois, the Reverend James Doherty, an irascible and intimidating old Irishman, liked to tell a story about something that happened across the water from his beloved homeland many centuries ago. It was right around the turn of the thirteenth century, and a traveler was venturing across medieval France,...

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10. Breakout: Could Someone Cheat and Rule the World?

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pp. 189-202

Many years ago, I earned a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Southampton in England, after being named a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. It’s a marvelous program that dispatches students from all over the world to all over the world—to study, mingle, and break bread in an effort to cultivate world citizenship and transnational...

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11. How It Might Happen: Transforming Abolition from a Utopian Fantasy into a Concrete Political Goal

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pp. 203-227

There has long been about nuclear matters, said Canadian philosopher Michael Allen Fox a quarter-century ago, “a sense in which we are already experiencing a kind of . . . ‘psychological fallout.’ I am referring here to fear, gloom, despair, cynicism, fatalism, meaninglessness, apathy, and related psychological aberrations and mental paralyses...

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12. Apocalypse Never

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pp. 228-241

In 1971, when Henry Kissinger went to China on behalf of President Nixon in a secret effort to reestablish diplomatic relations between our two great nations, he had much to discuss with his interlocutors in Beijing. There had been, after all, no official contact between the estranged adversaries since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. In the course of their...

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pp. 243-250

A great many family members, friends, and colleagues have aided and abetted my efforts to launch this project, think it through, and bring it to completion. Some are political professionals or nuclear policy specialists, but a great many more are simply people who care about me and the human race—and want us both to live long and...


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pp. 251-267

Glossary of Acronyms

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pp. 269-272

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Organizations Working to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Forever

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pp. 273-276

Each of these organizations is plugging away at one or another aspect of the nuclear disarmament agenda. Join, participate, and donate the money they so desperately need, and I have no doubt that, together, we can make nuclear weapons abolition...


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pp. 277-296

E-ISBN-13: 9780813549491
E-ISBN-10: 0813549493
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813546612
Print-ISBN-10: 0813546613

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2010