The Foreign Service Journal, April 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2022 71 story of the Kazakhstan nuclear inheri- tance within the context of the global nonproliferation regime and the geopoliti- cal pull and tug of the Cold War and its aftermath. Other strengths of the book are the author’s ease with nuclear science and her ability to translate technical issues into an easily understood narrative. Her documentation is scrupulous and takes up almost a third of the book. She has mined both English- and Russian-language sources, including U.S. and Kazakhstan presidential archives, and has interviewed many of the key individuals involved in this history. After tracing the nuclear dismantle- ment in Kazakhstan, Kassenova brings this historically positive transformation up to the present by recounting the coun- try’s numerous steps to cooperate with the United States and to be a responsible player in arms control and nonprolifera- tion: negotiating a Central Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, hosting an interna- tional nuclear fuel bank, actively partici- pating in the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (one area in which the U.S. and Kazakhstan do not agree). The suffering and resilience of the nuclear victims, as well as Kazakhstan’s modern diplomatic achievements, Kas- senova concludes, leave an air of both “joy and pain” on the “mesmerizing” atomic steppe. America’s part in dealing with the aftermath of this painful legacy was an important chapter in bold and effective diplomacy. n Ambassador (ret.) Laura Kennedy spent much of her 38-year Foreign Service career working on Russia, Central Asia and nuclear issues. She first worked in Kazakhstan in 1978 with an official U.S. exchange exhibit.