25. This Nuclear Madness: The Priestleys against the H-Bomb

JB Priestley was and is right!

100 Objects

J.B. Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes in 1958 J.B. Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes in 1958

Many people who have heard of J.B. Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes do not realise that the couple were instrumental in the founding of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in Britain.

Britain and the Nuclear Bombs, by J.B. Priestley

Like many people in Britain, Priestley was deeply concerned by the country’s decision to test a hydrogen bomb at Christmas Island in 1957.   Our first Object is “Britain and the Nuclear Bombs“, an article he wrote for the New Statesman in which he called for the country to set a moral standard by abandoning nuclear weapons:

“Alone we defied Hitler; and alone we can defy this nuclear madness … There may be other chain-reactions besides those leading to destruction; and we might start one”.

Priestley’s passionate writing and the moral authority he gained from his First World War experiences in the trenches and his Second World War broadcasting struck a…

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