Abstract: The quotation in the title is taken from the memoirs of Boris Chertok, a leading Soviet missile designer. In my talk I will examine significant shifts in Soviet thinking about nuclear war and military strategy in the 1960s and 1970s and discuss some of the implications of those shifts for strategic stability in the 1980s. I will also explore the influence of the McNamara Pentagon on Soviet military strategy and Soviet thinking about deterrence and war-fighting.
Speaker bio: David Holloway is the Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History, a professor of political science, and an FSI senior fellow. He was co-director of CISAC from 1991 to 1997, and director of FSI from 1998 to 2003. His research focuses on the international history of nuclear weapons, on science and technology in the Soviet Union, and on the relationship between international history and international relations theory. His book Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 (Yale University Press, 1994) was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 11 best books of 1994, and it won the Vucinich and Shulman prizes of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. It has been translated into seven languages. The Chinese translation is due to be published later in 2018. Holloway also wrote The Soviet Union and the Arms Race (1983) and co-authored The Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative: Technical, Political and Arms Control Assessment (1984). He has contributed to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Foreign Affairs, and other scholarly journals.
Since joining the Stanford faculty in 1986 -- first as a professor of political science and later (in 1996) as a professor of history as well -- Holloway has served as chair and co-chair of the International Relations Program (1989-1991), and as associate dean in the School of Humanities and Sciences (1997-1998). Before coming to Stanford, he taught at the University of Lancaster (1967-1970) and the University of Edinburgh (1970-1986). Born in Dublin, Ireland, he received his undergraduate degree in modern languages and literature, and his PhD in social and political sciences, both from Cambridge University.