Imagined nuclear strikes on Washington (Frank Tinsley) and Moscow (artist unknown), c. 1950

Twenty three years later, it is easy to forget both how terrible and imminent nuclear Armageddon seemed throughout the Cold War. Our modern obsession with small terrorist groups seems petty, and almost neurotic in comparison. However, the world holds nearly as many nuclear weapons today as it did in 1989, and they are distributed across more nations, making a nuclear war more likely than ever.

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    As part of the “Cold War” generation (my junior high school was a designated bomb/fallout shelter), I remember how...
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