Book Discussion on The Dead Hand

David Hoffman talked about his book The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy (Doubleday;… read more

David Hoffman talked about his book The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy (Doubleday; September 22, 2009). In his book David Hoffman, former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post, recounts the final decade of the Cold War and the nuclear and biological munitions that remained following the collapse of the Soviet Union. With new information culled largely from the author’s discovery of the papers of Vitaly Leonidivich Katayev, a staff member of the Central Committee who had a “front row seat” in all arms race-related discussions, Mr. Hoffman showed the disparity between the American perspective and Russian reality. In his presentation Mr. Hoffman focused on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s disinterest in creating a Stars Wars program that would rival President Reagan’s, the Soviet Union’s foray into biological warfare, and the ‘Dead Hand’ program that would automatically respond to a nuclear strike regardless of whether any Soviet leaders were alive to command it. He responded to questions from members of the audience.

This noon book discussion was co-sponsored by the Cold War International History Project and the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. on October 19, 2009.

David Hoffman is a contributing editor at the Washington Post where he was formerly a White House correspondent and Moscow bureau chief. He is the author of The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia. close

*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

More information about

Book Discussion on The Dead Hand

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Program ID:
289536-1
Category:
Public Affairs Event
Format:
Speech
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
First Aired:
Nov 14, 2009
Last Aired:
Apr 6, 2014

Airing Details

  • Nov 14, 2009 | 6:59pm EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Jan 16, 2010 | 10:56pm EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Jan 17, 2010 | 6:59pm EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Apr 18, 2010 | 11:13am EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Jun 04, 2010 | 7:01pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Jun 04, 2010 | 10:13pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Mar 29, 2014 | 4:00pm EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Mar 30, 2014 | 2:00am EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Apr 06, 2014 | 8:00am EDT | C-SPAN 3
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