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This book provides a complete history of the US Fleet Ballistic Missile programme from its inception in the 1950s and the development of Polaris to the deployment of Trident II in 1990. Writing in an accessible yet scholarly manner, Graham Spinardi bases his historical documentation of FBM development on interviews with many of the key participants. His study confronts a central issue: is technology simply a tool used to achieve the goals of society, or is it an autonomous force in shaping that society? FBM accuracy evolved from the city-busting retaliatory capability of Polaris to the silo-busting ‚first strike‘ potential of Trident. Is this a case of technology ‚driving‘ the arms race, or simply the intended product of political decisions? The book provides a comprehensive survey of the literature looking at the role of technology in the arms race, and seeks to explain technological development using a ‚sociology of technology‘ approach.
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