American Experience - Season 11, Episode 2 - Rotten Tomatoes

Race for the Superbomb

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Episode Info

This two-hour documentary uncovers the U.S.-Soviet race to build the hydrogen bomb and describes the fear of destruction that ensued. More powerful than the atomic bomb, the hydrogen fusion (or "super") bomb was used as a political weapon during the Cold War. This documentary also shows the tension among American scientists of the time: Inventor Edward Teller defended the bomb as a deterrent against Soviet attack, while Robert Oppenheimer denounced it purely as a weapon for mass destruction. It was the Americans who, in 1952, tested the first super bomb; its power a thousand times greater than the atomic bomb, it vaporized an entire island in the Pacific. Eighteen months later the Soviet team exploded their first H-bomb. The nuclear arms race had begun.

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Race for the Superbomb Photos

Critic reviews for Race for the Superbomb

Getting rid of the super, this thoughtful documentary concludes, has proved even harder than building it.

December 1, 2017 | Full Review…

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