Scaling the Mountain: The UN Ban Treaty & the Quest for a Nuclear-Free World

At the start of the 21st century, several groups began efforts aiming not just to control nuclear weapons but to eliminate them altogether. The so-called Gang of Four, William Perry, George Shultz, Sam Nunn and Henry Kissinger, wrote numerous powerful op-eds, urging us to work towards a world without nuclear weapons. Bruce Blair turned from academics to founding Global Zero, dedicated to the same goal. And a coalition of activist groups led by Swedish lawyer Beatrice Fihn, formed the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN. In 2017, the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Read More

Nuclear Freeze: A Walk in the Park

Against the backdrop of heightened Cold War anxieties, the 1980s bore witness to a remarkable phenomenon: the Nuclear Freeze protest movement. From bustling city streets to rural communities, voices united in defiance against the specter of nuclear proliferation. This groundswell of grassroots activism would pressure policymakers and trigger unprecedented advances in arms control, ultimately reshaping the trajectory of the Cold War.

Read More

Marshall Islands: Paradise Interrupted

During the era of atmospheric nuclear testing, hundreds of thousands of American servicemen were made to participate in nuclear tests to prepare for fighting an atomic war. Thousands more were exposed to deadly radiation while cleaning up after nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands. These men were prevented from talking about their experiences for decades after, even to their doctor.

Read More

Atomic Soldiers: Training for the Final War

During the era of atmospheric nuclear testing, hundreds of thousands of American servicemen were made to participate in nuclear tests to prepare for fighting an atomic war. Thousands more were exposed to deadly radiation while cleaning up after nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands. These men were prevented from talking about their experiences for decades after, even to their doctor.

Read More

Downwinders: Fatal Harvest

As nuclear testing proceeded throughout the 1950s, evidence began to emerge showing that radioactive fallout was spreading throughout most of the continental United States. Amidst a growing epidemic of fallout-related cancer, Downwinders began to fight back, first through the courts, and later in Congress. (Part 2 of 2)

Read More