The Humanity Beneath the Bomb

In the final episode of the series, Usha takes a closer look at the people behind the nuclear arms race. At the 1955 Geneva Summit, the superpowers tried to manage the dangers of the Cold War through face-to-face diplomacy, dealing with each other as people rather than as faceless nuclear arsenals. Yet Khrushchev's frosty reception of Eisenhower's Open Skies proposal showed just how far the two sides still had to go. Usha interviews several experts who stress that, decades later, empathy and respect are still critical -- and, right now, conspicuously absent -- elements of U.S.-Russia nuclear diplomacy. Meanwhile, in the secretive atomic communities built for plutonium production, the human toll of nuclear competition was becoming painfully clear. From Eisenhower and Khrushchev to factory workers in the atomic cities to morally conflicted scientists like Andrei Sakharov, every human being with a role in the nuclear Cold War had to wrestle with the physical and emotional costs, the moral dilemmas, and the irresolvable contradictions of this most terrible weapon.   Guests: Alexandra Bell, Dr. Anya Fink, Dr. Kate Brown, Dr. Olga Oliker

Om Podcasten

A podcast about the dawn of the nuclear age, hosted by Usha Sahay and produced by War on the Rocks, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In each episode, Usha takes listeners on a journey into the early years of the Cold War, telling stories about the dilemmas nuclear weapons posed for American and Soviet leaders, and introducing a fascinating cast of characters who were all trying to prevent Armageddon in different ways. Along the way, Usha interviews scholars and other nuclear experts to help make sense of the many atomic mysteries that have yet to be solved.