Angela Santese

Environmentalism, Pacifism and the Cold War: The New Antinuclearism in the American Historiography

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Antinuclearism; Cold War; Environmentalism; Pacifism.

This review essay discusses the main themes in the U.S. historiographical debate on the new anti-nuclear activism, namely the opposition against civil and military nuclear technology emerged in the Seventies. Environmental history has examined this phenomenon by focusing in particular on grass-roots campaigns against nuclear power plants. Peace history has instead concentrated on the opposition against nuclear arsenals, depicting the new anti-nuclear activism as a specific form of pacifism developed during the Cold War and highlighting the attempt of antinuclear groups to lobby their governments at a transnational level. Other studies, intermingling cold war and social and cultural history, have underlined the symbolic impact of the development of nuclear technology, while the most recent literature has studied the environmental impact of the bipolar conflict often borrowing perspectives offered by environmental and cold war history.

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