WGBH Openvault

War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Interview with Andrew Goodpaster, 1986 [2]

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


As staff secretary to President Dwight Eisenhower from 1954 to 1961, General Andrew Goodpaster was the person most privy to Eisenhower’s thinking and key decisions during his White House years. Goodpaster began his long affiliation with Eisenhower as a staff officer under his leadership of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), and he went on to become the president’s right-hand man on security matters. In the interview he discusses American relations with Western Europe. He focuses mainly on Eisenhower’s views, both when he was at SHAPE and when he became president. He explains the nature of the relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain, especially in terms of nuclear cooperation, as well as the American-British-French relationship. He describes the development of more advanced nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear devices and strategic weapons, and the effect these had on deterrence. He describes the formation of NATO, and the difficulties encountered because of the question of German rearmament. He explains the decision have NATO utilize American nuclear weapons, and reactions of various people to the strategy of flexible response.

License Clip
Got it
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Europe Goes Nuclear
Program Number



Interview with Andrew Goodpaster, 1986 [2]

Series Description

The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.

In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989

Program Description

France and England rush to acquire their own nuclear weapons, NATO worries about the threat from the East, and Europe becomes the most nuclear-saturated place on Earth.

British and American scientists worked side by side to build the first nuclear bombs. “There was a strong desire on the British side for that collaboration to continue into peacetime. There was no such desire on the part of the United States,” recalls British diplomat Roger Makins, Lord Sherfield. Britain decided to proceed on its own and in 1952 joined the US and the Soviets in what pundits would call “the nuclear club.” General Charles De Gaulle, president of France, wanted to join the club, too, and not rely on the US for nuclear protection. Prestige was also an issue. In 1960, France exploded its first atomic weapon. Since World War II the Soviet Union had had a superiority in conventional forces in Europe. NATO countered by deploying thousands of nuclear weapons. “They were accepted as being perfectly reasonable weapons to use in a tactical battle in continental Europe,” said Sir Richard Powell of the British Defense Ministry.



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


Eden, Anthony, Earl of Avon, 1897-1977
Soviet Union
Nuclear warfare
Slessor, John, 1897-1979
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Norstad, Lauris, 1907-1988
Deterrence (Strategy)
Richardson, General Robert C
Macmillan, Harold, 1894-1986
Great Britain
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
German rearmament
Edicia Sputnik
Nuclear weapons
Lloyd, Selwyn, 1904-1978
Intercontinental ballistic missiles
United States
Hydrogen bomb
Sinai Campaign, 1956, Israel--History--Suez Campaign, 1956
Flexible response (Nuclear strategy)
United States. Congress
Washington, DC
War and Conflict
Global Affairs
Goodpaster, Andrew Jackson, 1915-2005 (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Interview with Andrew Goodpaster, 1986 [2],” 12/11/1986, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 26, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_73A39EE9BF304963882477C5BADFA57F.
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Interview with Andrew Goodpaster, 1986 [2].” 12/11/1986. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 26, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_73A39EE9BF304963882477C5BADFA57F>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Europe Goes Nuclear; Interview with Andrew Goodpaster, 1986 [2]. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_73A39EE9BF304963882477C5BADFA57F
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.