From Polaris to Trident

The Development of US Fleet Ballistic Missile Technology

From Polaris to Trident

This book provides a historical account of one of the key weapons developments of the nuclear age. By examining the United States Fleet Ballistic Missile program from Polaris in the 1950s to Trident II in the 1990s, Graham Spinardi is able to examine in detail the complex relationship between the advance of technology and the pace of the arms race. Did technology "drive" the arms race or were these weapons simply the product of political decisions? His account, drawing on interviews with many of the key participants, is the most complete currently available.


"Spinardi's book stands as a potent warning against the common tendency to assume that arguments about what is 'technically possible' or 'politically possible' always represent objective truths, rather than constructions that serve someone's interest." Scott D. Sagan, American Political Science Review

'It is quite simply, the most carefully researched, scholarly and objective account I have read on the FBM program.' Rear Admiral Robert H. Wertheim

'Since World War II the western world has become adept at designing and managing extremely large and complex technological projects that greatly influence the course of contemporary history. Graham Spinardi's history of the Fleet Ballistic Missile Project provides a pioneering, detailed and engaging history of creativity massively organized.' Tom Hughes, University of Pennsylvania

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