Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Dawn At the Brink

  • Series: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
  • Rating: *****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $29.95 Series (public): $350.00
  • Date: Copyright 1989. Released 1989.
  • Descriptors: Nuclear weapons. World politics. Strategy. International security.
  • Production Information: Live action. Sponsored by Annenberg/CPB Project. Videos: 13. Color. Includes Teacher's guide, Study guide, Textbooks. Closed captioned. 60, 60 min.
  • Production Company: WGBH (Boston) Central Independent Television (Britain) NHK (Japan)
  • Available from: Annenberg/CPB Project 901 E St. NW Washington, DC 20004-2037 (202) 879-9656
  • Cataloging: ||Nuclear warfare||Nuclear weapons
  • Print Entry #: 1:42
  • Reviewer: John Dowling

    War and Peace in the Nuclear Age is the Annenberg/CPB Project series of 13 one-hour video programs that traces the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy. This series of tapes could serve well as a course on the nuclear age or as extremely pertinent background material on any course dealing with nuclear weapons and/or their political implications. Even colleges or high schools with no nuclear specialists could offer this course since the programs stand well alone. Teachers who are not knowledgeable in this area will find the supplementary student and teacher guide materials very helpful. War and Peace is comprehensive and extremely well done - it is the best series available on the nuclear age.

    The series covers the whole nuclear era but emphasizes the following topics: the development of the first atomic bomb, the Cold War, the "bomber and missile" gaps, the Cuban missile crisis, dÇtente, nuclear proliferation, the MX, nuclear weapons in Europe, the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and concludes with an examination of the range of current policy options available. Thus War and Peace provides an extensive coverage of nearly every important topic in this area. The student and teacher guides are well prepared, and the supplementary readings provide an extensive list of resources for further study.

    This series uses pertinent archival film footage, conducts interviews with individuals involved in past and current nuclear policy decisionmaking, and has a considerable amount of new footage on current issues. Technically, the production is quite professional and is remarkably well executed. There is a logical flow through the history of the period, with a proper balance of old and newly prepared materials.

    I know this area well, yet if I were teaching a course on the topic I would consider showing each film in a class period and then leading students in a discussion of the issues raised for the next two classes. In so doing I think that students would gain insights into all the important aspects of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age. (Note: Titles listed are only those on the preview tape; not the entire series.)

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