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Apocalypse ManagementEisenhower and the Discourse of National Insecurity$
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Ira Chernus

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758079

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758079.001.0001

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The President and the Bomb, 1953–1955

The President and the Bomb, 1953–1955

(p.87) Chapter 6 The President and the Bomb, 1953–1955
Apocalypse Management
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the response of President Dwight Eisenhower to the hydrogen bomb. The question of a test ban was bound up with the larger question of the world's response to the hydrogen bomb. It is noted that not everybody in Eisenhower's administration agreed that a moratorium on all further experimentation, whether with H bombs or A bombs, was a good idea. Eventually, Eisenhower decided to reject the moratorium. Particularly in Europe, the growth in the concern about fallout threatened to drive the administration into serious negotiations on disarmament. The New Look presumed that bombs would really be employed for a keeping counterattack. Eisenhower tried to make fear the rhetorical opposite of faith. Furthermore, his apocalypticism permitted no way to give the nation's growing awareness of limits any positive meaning.

Keywords:   hydrogen bomb, Dwight Eisenhower, moratorium, disarmament, New Look, apocalypticism

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