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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Aleksandr Evgenevich Bovin, 1986

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


Aleksandr Bovin was a Soviet journalist, a speechwriter for Leonid Brezhnev, and a diplomat who served as Soviet and Russian ambassador to Israel. He offers Soviet reactions (Brezhnev's in particular) to President Nixon and the policy of detente, then discusses the effects of various issues on that policy – for example, the Soviet military buildup of the 1960s, the Vietnam war, and U.S.-China relations. He later talks about detente's effect on Soviet-European relations and the various developments that helped undermine the policy. Other individuals discussed are Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Other topics include the effect of the Third World on U.S.-Soviet relations, the importance of SALT II, the lack of a window of vulnerability, and unrealistic conceptions about the possibility for limited nuclear war.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Carter's New World
Program Number

107, 109


Interview with Aleksandr Evgenevich Bovin, 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

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.



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


United States
Nuclear weapons
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II
Soviet Union
Brezhnev, Leonid Il?ich, 1906-1982
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
Soviet Union. Treaties, etc. United States, 1972 May 26 (ABM)
Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles
International relations
Brzezinski, Zbigniew, 1928-
Vance, Cyrus R. (Cyrus Roberts), 1917-2002
Nuclear arms control
Kissinger, Henry, 1923-
Strategic Defense Initiative
McNamara, Robert S., 1916-2009
Schlesinger, James R.
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
Weinberger, Caspar W.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Reagan, Ronald
Moscow, Russia
War and Conflict
Global Affairs
Bovin, Aleksandr Evgenevich (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Aleksandr Evgenevich Bovin, 1986,” 12/16/1986, GBH Archives, accessed July 23, 2024,
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Aleksandr Evgenevich Bovin, 1986.” 12/16/1986. GBH Archives. Web. July 23, 2024. <>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Aleksandr Evgenevich Bovin, 1986. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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