‘Never a credible weapon’: nuclear cultures in British government during the era of the H-bomb

@article{Maguire2012NeverAC,
  title={‘Never a credible weapon’: nuclear cultures in British government during the era of the H-bomb},
  author={Richard Maguire},
  journal={The British Journal for the History of Science},
  year={2012},
  volume={45},
  pages={519 - 533}
}
  • Richard Maguire
  • Published 2012
  • Sociology
  • The British Journal for the History of Science
Abstract This article explores British ‘nuclear culture’ by examining how individuals and groups within British government tried to comprehend nuclear weapons after the advent of the hydrogen bomb in 1952. It argues that thinking about nuclear weaponry was not uniform, and there was no monolithic ‘nuclear culture’ in government. Instead, political and social habits interacted with Cold War experience to create views of the nuclear weapon – nuclear cultures – that varied across government to… Expand
5 Citations
‘… what in the hell’s this?’ Rehearsing nuclear war in Britain’s Civil Defence Corps
ABSTRACT Between 1948 and 1968, Civil Defence Corps recruits trained to protect local communities in the event of nuclear war in Britain. Across that period, the policies that governed civil defenceExpand
Cultures of nuclear resistance in 1980s Liverpool
ABSTRACT: Focusing on Liverpool in the early 1980s, this article argues that localized approaches to Cold War cities can help us understand the impact of national nuclear policy on cultures of localExpand
SCIENTISTS, THE PUBLIC, THE STATE, AND THE DEBATE OVER THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN HEALTH EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR TESTING IN BRITAIN, 1950–1958*
  • C. Laucht
  • Political Science
  • The Historical Journal
  • 2015
ABSTRACT This article uses the debate over environmental and human health effects of nuclear testing to shed light on the ambivalent relationship between scientists, the public, and the state inExpand

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 26 REFERENCES
The British and West German Protests against Nuclear Weapons and the Cultures of the Cold War, 1957–64
This article compares the ways in which Cold War culture in general and ‘nuclear culture’ in particular framed British and West German anti-nuclear-weapons campaigns in the late 1950s and earlyExpand
British Nuclear Doctrine: The ‘Moscow Criterion’ and the Polaris Improvement Programme
This article focuses on continuity and change in British nuclear doctrine, especially in terms of targeting policy. After an initial assessment in 1945 that nuclear weapons would be scarce and wouldExpand
Gender and the Nuclear Weapons State: A Feminist Critique of the UK Government's White Paper on Trident
This article enquires into the connections between gender and discourses of the nuclear weapons state. Specifically, we develop an analysis of the ways in which gender operates in the White PaperExpand
After the Bomb: Civil Defence and Nuclear War in Britain, 1945-68
© Matthew Grant 2010. All rights reserved. Civil defence was an integral part of Britain's modern history. Throughout the cold war it was a central response of the British Government to the threat ofExpand
'What to do if it happens': planners, pamphlets and propaganda in the age of the H-bomb.
TLDR
This seemingly paradoxical Government response to a hydrogen bomb attack on Britain was shaped by conflicting financial and political pressures, and by the work of the Home Office scientists whose research underpinned British civil defence planning. Expand
The strath report: britain confronts the H‐Bomb, 1954–1955
Late in 1954, the British government convened a secret committee of civil servants to explore the implications of the hydrogen bomb for Britain in a nuclear war. Headed by William Strath, this smallExpand
Britain and Hiroshima
Abstract Most historical accounts of the atomic bombings of Japan show little interest in Britain's explicit authorization for the attacks. Meanwhile, the few historians who have attempted to explainExpand
The mushroom-shaped cloud: British scientists' opposition to nuclear weapons policy, 1945–57
Summary The role played by scientists in opposing nuclear weapons policy in Britain has been underestimated or discounted in much of the historical literature on the 1940s and 1950s. In fact anExpand
Home Defence and the Sandys Defence White Paper, 1957
Abstract Long understood as the key document in Britain's Cold War history, the Duncan Sandys Defence White Paper of 1957 nevertheless has a largely forgotten context: home defence. This articleExpand
The Assumptions of British Nuclear Weapons Decision-Makers
Particular decisions about nuclear weapons are made by individuals on the basis of a set of assumptions. These assumptions are rarely revealed in official publications which explain or support thoseExpand
...
1
2
3
...