Andrei Sakharov on Nuclear War and Nuclear Peace

Authored by: Jay Bergman

The Routledge History of World Peace Since 1750

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138069138
eBook ISBN: 9781315157344
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Andrei Sakharov’s credentials as an advocate of peace are unassailable. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1975—the first Russian to be so recognized—he argued in his Nobel lecture, delivered in Oslo by his wife because he was not allowed to leave the Soviet Union, that everyone, not just governments, had an obligation to ensure the survival of humanity by preventing the most obvious and dangerous threat to it: Nuclear war. 1 Sakharov condemned the Soviet system for its multiple human rights violations partly because he believed that adhering to them made countries less likely to wage war. Sakharov had no illusion about the tragic consequences of nuclear war. He recognized that among its casualties would be the very human rights he championed so eloquently—material security, the rule of law, the right to choose one’s place of residence, and a presumption of sanity for political critics and dissidents. For Sakharov, human rights were self-evidently worthless if there were no human beings to enjoy them. 2

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.