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The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain with the Bomb
by Avner Cohen
Israel has made a unique contribution to the nuclear age. It has created a special "bargain" with the bomb. Israel is the only nuclear-armed state that does not acknowledge its possession of the bomb, even though its existence is a common knowledge throughout the world. It only says that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East.
The bomb is I ...more
The bomb is I ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 24th 2010 by Columbia University Press
(first published June 1st 2010)
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This is a very academic book (a bit overly pedantic in its style) that explains the history of Israel's acquisition of the nuclear bomb and the deal it made with the United States to keep it secret. But more importantly, Cohen describes, explains and analyzes the culture that supports this "worst-kept secret" and allows it to stay in sort of a twilight purgatory: everyone knows Israel has nuclear weapons, but no one (both inside and outside of the country) openly and directly discusses (or even ...more
An insightful overview of Israel's policy of nuclear opacity. However, some of the book's policy recommendations -- which aim to bring Israel into the international nuclear mainstream, as India was able to accomplish in 2008 -- seemed a bit out of synch with the reality of Israel's regional security environment.
Avner Cohen is writer, historian, and professor, and is well known for his works on nuclear weapons. Cohen received a B.A. in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University in 1975. He went on to study at York University where he received an M.A. in Philosophy in 1977 and four years later earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the History of Culture. After these studies he embarked on an academic c ...moreMore about Avner Cohen...