The classic and “utterly engrossing” study of Stalin’s pursuit of a nuclear bomb during the Cold War by the renowned political scientist and historian (Foreign Affairs). For forty years the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms race dominated world politics, yet the Soviet nuclear establishment was shrouded in secrecy. Then, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, David Holloway pulled back the Iron Curtain with his “marvelous, groundbreaking study” Stalin and the Bomb (The New Yorker). How did the Soviet Union build its atomic and hydrogen bombs? What role did espionage play? How did the American atomic monopoly affect Stalin's foreign policy? What was the relationship between Soviet nuclear scientists and the country's political leaders? David Holloway answers these questions by tracing the dramatic story of Soviet nuclear policy from developments in physics in the 1920s to the testing of the hydrogen bomb and the emergence of nuclear deterrence in the mid-1950s. This magisterial history throws light on Soviet policy at the height of the Cold War, illuminates a central element of the Stalinist system, and puts into perspective the tragic legacy of this program―environmental damage, a vast network of institutes and factories, and a huge stockpile of unwanted weapons.