Despite not having been used in anger since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons are still the biggest threat that faces us in the 21st century. Indeed, for all the effort to reduce nuclear stockpiles to zero and to keep other nations (such as Iran) from developing nuclear capability, it seems that the Bomb is here to stay. In this gripping Very Short Introduction, Joseph M. Siracusa, an internationally respected authority on nuclear arms, provides a comprehensive, accessible, and at times chilling overview of the most deadly weapon ever invented. Siracusa explains the history of the arms race and the politics of the bomb, ranging from the technology of nuclear weapons, to the revolutionary implications of the H-bomb and the politics of nuclear deterrence. The issues are set against a backdrop of the changing international landscape, from the early days of development, through the Cold War, to the present-day controversy over George W. Bush's National Missile Defense, and the role of nuclear weapons in an Age of Terror. Providing an accessible and eye-opening backdrop to one of the most unsettling aspects of the modern world, this compact introduction is must reading.