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Project PlowshareThe Peaceful Use of Nuclear Explosives in Cold War America$
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Scott Kaufman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451256

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451256.001.0001

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A Plan of Biblical Proportions

A Plan of Biblical Proportions

(p.7) 1 A Plan of Biblical Proportions
Project Plowshare

Scott Kaufman

Cornell University Press

This chapter details the history of Project Plowshare from its conception to its implementation. For Eisenhower, the question was how to limit the arms race while permitting the United States to maintain its nuclear supremacy. An earlier attempt, called the Baruch Plan, had failed. This half-hearted proposal called for an international organization to control all atomic energy activities. Looking at that history, Eisenhower and his aides came up with an idea to promote the peaceful use of the atom. This strategy might curb the arms race by having the superpowers assign a portion of their nuclear stockpile to civilian rather than military use. More ominously, an emphasis on the atom's potential for good would make Americans more receptive to an increase in the overall size of their nation's nuclear arsenal, which, in the event of war, could be unleashed against an enemy.

Keywords:   Project Plowshare, Eisenhower, Baruch Plan, arms race, atomic energy activities, nuclear stockpile, superpower countries

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