In October 1986, a historic summit meeting was held at Reykjavik, Iceland, between the United States, under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan, and the Soviet Union, under the leadership of President Mikhail Gorbachev. What began as a summit with an agenda of limited reduction of nuclear weapons and human rights quickly transformed into a discussion by the two leaders advocating for elimination of all nuclear weapons. The prospect of a world without nuclear weapons had never before been held at such a high level and has never been held since. These negotiations were truly historic and in many ways groundbreaking in helping to end the Cold War.
Reykjavik, a one-act play, written by Richard Rhodes, is a dialogue taken from the actual transcripts of the negotiations between the two presidents. Rhodes is the author or editor of twenty-four works of history, memoir, and fiction, including The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which won a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award. A past visiting scholar at MIT and Harvard University, he is presently an associate of the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation.
The play runs for seventy-five minutes and will be followed by a question-and-answer session on May 8 with Richard Rhodes and on May 9 with a panel of nuclear security experts led by Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists.
This program is co-sponsored by the Federation of American Scientists, the Fund for Peace Initiatives, the Center for International Security and Cooperation, the Bowen H. McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, and Stanford Continuing Studies.