Richard Rhodes: A-bomb ushered in peace





For a historian who has spent much of his career exploring the depths of human violence, Richard Rhodes has reached a surprisingly optimistic conclusion. He believes murder and mayhem have declined across the globe since World War II.

"You don't get rid of violence," Rhodes said. "What you do is bring violence under social control."

Rhodes, 70, won a 1988 Pulitzer Prize for The Making of the Atomic Bomb and has also written books on the hydrogen bomb, Hitler's SS and why people kill. He was in Manchester the past several days as a visiting professor with the fiction and nonfiction writing program at Southern New Hampshire University.

In a wide-ranging interview, Rhodes spoke about 9/11 and its aftermath, the nuclear arms race during the Cold War, the nuclear perils of today and the perennial debate over the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But despite a firm grasp on the political follies of modern history and our own time, Rhodes presents a glass-half-full perspective.

"We've found ways to limit violence," he said. "The ways that the West found were access to courts of law by the common people and strong central governments."...



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