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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Shalheveth Freier, 1987

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


Shalheveth Freier was director of the scientific department of the Israeli Ministry of Defense in the early 1950s when the country began to explore nuclear energy. Initial attempts to produce uranium and heavy water were controversial but received a major boost in 1953 when the French Atomic Energy Commission offered to buy the process of uranium extraction Israel had developed. He discusses this and other international sources of support for nuclear activities, such as the Atoms for Peace program. The interview also touches on the subject of Israel and the nuclear threshold, and he offers lengthy views on the international nonproliferation regime, Israel's concerns about threats from the Arab states, and the country's dealings with the International Atomic Energy Agency. He also comments on what he sees as the sense of privilege on the part of larger powers that possess nuclear weapons toward smaller countries that do not.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Carter's New World
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Interview with Shalheveth Freier, 1987

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

President Carter comes to office determined to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and to improve relations with the Soviet Union. His frustrations are as grand as his intentions.

Carter had hoped the United States and the Soviet Union would reduce their reliance on nuclear weapons. He stopped production of the B-1 bomber. He believed the SALT II negotiations would be a step toward eliminating nuclear weapons. But his intentions were frustrated by Soviet actions and by a lack of consensus among his own advisors, including Chief SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke and national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (who was dubious about arms control). Carter balanced Soviet aggression in Africa by improving American relations with China. He withdrew SALT II treaty from Senate consideration but its terms continued to serve as general limits on strategic nuclear force levels for both the United States and the Soviet Union.



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Raw video

Media Type


Blix, Hans
Great Britain
Nuclear-weapon-free zones
Ben-Gurion, David, 1886-1973
Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (1967)
International Atomic Energy Agency
Middle East
Nuclear energy
Nuclear nonproliferation
Antinuclear movement
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
Palme, Olof, 1927-1986
Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues. Common security
Atoms for Peace (U.S.)
War and Conflict
Global Affairs
Freier, Shalheveth, 1920- (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Shalheveth Freier, 1987,” 01/22/1987, GBH Archives, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Shalheveth Freier, 1987.” 01/22/1987. GBH Archives. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Shalheveth Freier, 1987. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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