The Unfinished Twentieth Century

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Verso, 2001 - Political Science - 104 pages
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In this brief, elegant, urgent work, Jonathan Schell, the author of The Fate of the Earth, proposes that the defining characteristic of the twentieth century was the uncontrolled acceleration of humankind's capacity for self-destruction, manifested in 'policies of extermination', which culminated in the construction of the species-threatening nuclear arsenals of the Cold War.

Schell examines the legacy this leaves for the new millennium: the more than 30,000 nuclear weapons that remain in existence, the crisis of nuclear arms control that has arisen with the unraveling of the ABM treaty, the stalemate of the START talks, the attractive illusion of missile defense, the arrival of nuclear weapons in South-Asia, and the threat of their spread to East Asia and the Middle East. Schell suggests that the world now faces a difficult but inescapable choice between the abolition of all nuclear weapons and their rapid proliferation as nuclear technology and materials seep around the world.
 

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About the author (2001)

Jonathan Schell teaches at Wesleyan University and the New School University. A Fellow at the Nation Institute and co-founder of a recently formed citizen's initiative to negotiate the abolition of nuclear weapons, he is the author of nine books including Fate of the Earth, which was published in twenty countries.

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