Détente or Destruction, 1955-57 continues publication of Routledge's multi-volume critical edition of Bertrand Russell's shorter writings. Between September 1955 and November 1957 Russell published some sixty-one articles, reviews, statements, contributions to books and letters to editors, over fifty of which are contained in this volume. The texts, several of them hitherto unpublished, reveal the deepening of Russell's commitment to the anti-nuclear struggle, upon which he embarked in the previous volume of Collected Papers (Man's Peril, 1954-55).
Continuing with the theme of nuclear peril, this volume contains discussion of nuclear weapons, world peace, prospects for disarmament and British-Soviet friendship against the backdrop of the Cold War. One of the key papers in this volume is Russell's message to the inaugural conference of the Pugwash movement, which Russell was instrumental in launching and which became an influential, independent forum of East-West scientific cooperation and counsel on issues as an internationally agreed nuclear test-ban.
In addition to the issues of war and peace, Russell, now in his eighties, continued to take an interest in a wide variety of themes. Russell not only addresses older controversies over nationalism and empire, religious belief and American civil liberties, he also confronts head-on the new and pressing matters of armed intervention in Hungary and Suez, and of the manufacture and testing of the British hydrogen bomb. This volume includes seven interviews ranging from East-West Relations after the Geneva conference to a Meeting with Russell.