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Toward Nuclear Abolition: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1971-Present (Stanford Nuclear Age Series) Paperback – August 6, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0804748629 ISBN-10: 0804748624 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


"Wittner's impressively researched, clearly written, and balanced assessment of the antinuclear-weapons movement belongs on the shelf not only of every serious student of the nuclear arms race but also of everyone who is concerned about the safety of humanity."--American Historical Review

"[A] substantial, meticulously researched and sympathetic history of the disarmament movement."--Foreign Affairs

"Astonishing in scope and compelling in argument. . . .  It lays a path for historians around the world."--New Zealand Journal of History

"Deserves a wide audience, for it connects Americans up with the rest of the world at both the level of elite diplomacy and in the activism of an emerging global citizenry."--Diplomatic History

"An unprecedented overview of the range of movements, issues, and activities. . . .  [A] monumental achievement."--Political Science Quarterly

"...a monumental study that deserves to be widely read."—Internationale Politik

"Once again, for that great purpose, public opinion in all countries must be mobilised. Lawrence S. Wittner's Toward Nuclear Abolition: A History of the World Disarmament Movement helps in that task to perfection. Readers of his previous books will need no incitement to get their hands on this one."—Michael Foot, Tribune

"The saga of the world disarmament movement, whose complex strands Lawrence Wittner has brilliantly and lucidly woven together in Toward Nuclear Abolition, deserves the widest possible readership and retelling."—Robert K. Musil, Executive Director and CEO of Physicians for Social Responsibility and professor at American University

"For clues about how to save the planet from nuclear extinction, there is no better place to turn than to Lawrence S. Wittner's monumental three-volume study of the world disarmament movement from 1945 to the present."—The Progressive

"The final volume of Lawrence Wittner's trilogy is a major contribution to the history of the international peace movement. It covers every major event, organization and activist leader in recent decades and features the same rigorous research in many formerly unused sources, clear writing and even-handed approach that characterized his first two volumes. No single review can do it justice...We are all in debt to him for completing such a difficult project."—The Nonviolent Activist

From the Inside Flap

Toward Nuclear Abolition presents the inspiring, dramatic story of how citizen activists helped curb the arms race and prevent nuclear war. Examining events from 1971 to the present, the author continues the account he began in two earlier volumes, One World or None and Resisting the Bomb. The book shows how pressure from the Nuclear Freeze campaign in the United States, the European Nuclear Disarmament campaign, and comparable movements around the world foiled the nuclear ambitions of hawkish government officials and forced them toward nuclear arms control and disarmament. A leading historian and peace researcher, the author combines extensive scholarly research with a pathbreaking account of how the largest mass movement of modern times saved the world from nuclear annihilation.

More About the Author

Lawrence S. Wittner is an American historian who has written primarily on peace movements and foreign policy. He attended Columbia College (B.A., 1962), the University of Wisconsin (M.A., 1963), and Columbia University (Ph.D., 1967). Subsequently, he taught at Hampton Institute, at Vassar College, and -- under the Fulbright program -- at Japanese universities. In 1974, he began teaching at the State University of New York/Albany, where he rose to the rank of Professor of History before his retirement in 2010. He is the author of eight scholarly books, the editor or co-editor of another four, the writer of a novel, and the author of over 250 published articles and book reviews. Currently, he serves as the executive secretary of the Albany County Central Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO) and as a national board member of Peace Action. For more information, visit:

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