Toshihiro HiguchiMay 20, 2020
Nuclear Weapons Testing and the Making of a Global Environmental Crisis
Stanford University Press 2020
In Political Fallout: Nuclear Weapons Testing and the Making of a Global Environmental Crisis (Stanford University Press, 2020), Toshihiro Higuchi presents a history of the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty, by which the then-nuclear powers, US, USSR, and UK, agreed to cease, among other things, the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, largely moving such tests underground (the Chinese and French continued atmospheric tests in subsequent decades). Higuchi examines the development of knowledge about nuclear fallout, the dissemination and often suppression (mostly by governments of the nuclear powers) of that knowledge during the eighteen years book-ended by the 1945 Trinity Test and the signing of the 1963 Treaty. Political Fallout also considers the legacy of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which reduced fallout but was followed by an accelerated arms race and buildup of nuclear arsenals.