War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; Interview with Marcus Raskin, 1986
Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.
Marcus Raskin served as McGeorge Bundy's assistant on national security affairs and disarmament on the National Security Council staff from 1961-1962. In the interview he discusses U.S. nuclear strategy and disarmament. He explains the White House response to the first-strike proposal created during the Berlin Crisis of 1961. He is repulsed by the idea a first strike, which he considers illegal and immoral, and compares it to the Holocaust. He also describes the buildup of U.S. nuclear capabilities under Secretary of Defense McNamara. He contends that trying to control the arms race, without nuclear disarmament, is impossible because neither side will be totally satisfied that they have a stable deterrent against the other's nuclear forces. In addition, he argues against the conventional forces buildup, which he thinks will only encourage the U.S. to get into more conflicts like the Vietnam War, which could eventually evolve into nuclear engagements. He also discusses the idea of a U.S.-Soviet negotiated disengagement from Eastern and Western Europe.
- War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
- At the Brink
- Program Number
Interview with Marcus Raskin, 1986
- 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
In October 1962, the Soviet Union and the United States are at the brink of nuclear war, the 13 most harrowing days in the nuclear age.
“I remember leaving the White House at the end of that Saturday and thinking that might well be the last sunset I ever saw,” recalls former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara of Black Saturday, the day the Cuban missile crisis pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war. Aleksandr Alexseev, Soviet ambassador to Cuba at the time, recalled, “We and the Cubans decided that, in order to avoid a United States invasion, we should supply Cuba with missiles.” The US effort to overthrow Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs was an expression of President Kennedy’s disbelief about the missiles in Cuba while it surprised Soviet leader Khrushchev according to his speechwriter,Feodor Burlatsky. Major General William Fairborne, speaks about how “We loaded whole blood and a hundred coffins onto the carrier Iwo Jima.” Looking back on those 13 days, former Secretary of State Dean Rusk reflects, “...we’ve got to find some way to inhabit this speck of dust in the universe at the same time.”
- Asset Type
- Media Type
- Nuclear weapons
- Zorin, V. A. (Valerian Aleksandrovich), 1902-1986
- Bundy, McGeorge
- Civil defense
- United States. Dept. of Defense
- Fallout shelters
- United States. Air Force. Strategic Air Command
- Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
- Dean, Arthur H.
- United States
- Kissinger, Henry, 1923-
- McCloy, John J. (John Jay), 1895-1989
- Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Warsaw Treaty (1955)
- Kaysen, Carl
- National Security Council (U.S.)
- Schelling, Thomas C., 1921-
- United States. Presidents Science Advisory Committee
- Brezhnev, Leonid Il'ich, 1906-1982
- McNamara, Robert S., 1916-2009
- Gorbachev, Mikhail
- Wiesner, Jerome B. (Jerome Bert), 1915-1994
- Teller, Edward, 1908-2003
- Nuclear disarmament
- Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971
- Soviet Union
- Sorensen, Theodore C.
- United Nations
- Washington, DC
- War and Conflict
- Global Affairs
- Raskin, Marcus G. (Interviewee)
- Publication Information
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; Interview with Marcus Raskin, 1986,” 03/26/1986, GBH Archives, accessed December 10, 2023, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9EEEEDCFEB1B4D06A9E8DA66B86A236B.
- MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; Interview with Marcus Raskin, 1986.” 03/26/1986. GBH Archives. Web. December 10, 2023. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9EEEEDCFEB1B4D06A9E8DA66B86A236B>.
- APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; At the Brink; Interview with Marcus Raskin, 1986. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9EEEEDCFEB1B4D06A9E8DA66B86A236B