Reactions to the Study Guide



Paper comparing Dr. S with Failsafe


"sorry, can't help writing.  doing dr strangelove tonight for my students and am having a blast w/ your notes...  hope this finds you well.  cpt"



Prof. Lindley,

I very much enjoyed your informative article on Dr. Strangelove.  I'm a TA for a 1st course that examines war and culture through films and novels and we're showing the film tomorrow.    I was looking for a piece just like theone you wrote to give my students a bit of background to the main historical themes raised in the film.  (Unfortunately, we don't have time to devote hours to the study of the cold war military confrontation.)There are two suggestions that I could make to update what you've done, although you may already be aware of this material.  I like to get students try to look at some a little primary source material from time to time, andsome recent declassifications by the National Security Archive help illustrate some of the actual policy decisions behind the events in the movie.  For example, the National Security Archive has recently put up onits web page a selection of documents outlining discussions about plans forpre-delegating the authority to use nuclear weapons by lower echelon commanders.  Since this is such an important theme in the movie, I'm showing my students some of these documents to give them a feel for some of the decisions that were behind making the scenes in the movie plausible. See<>  As well, there's a useful selection of documents recently declassified that discuss plans for "launch on warning" procedures.  See <>Thanks again for writing such a useful piece.  Getting this movie really requires a little understanding of the issues discussed in the movie and your paper is a very helpful piece of work.


Department of Political Science, University of Toronto



I'm writing just to let you know that I've found your notes on Dr Strangelove ( really useful. I'm a student of nuclear strategy and an avid fan of Strangelove. However, your notes were useful to me because I am also a director of an English theatre company, and I have been preparing an adaptation of Strangelove for theatrical production.

I'm using Peter George's novel(s) as a basis rather than the film, but have included many Kubrickisms as well. To my knowledge, no one has ever before adapted the story into a stage play, which seems to me to be a missed opportunity.

>From reading your notes, I realised exactly how virtually every piece of dialogue in Strangelove is pertinent to some aspect of strategy or cold war history. You mention that people were convinced of a fluoridation plot, but I wonder if you could give me an exact newspaper article reference to illustrate this.



University of Lancaster, England


Professor Lindley, I'm thoroughly enjoying reading your narrative on this film. However, I'd like to offer an alternate opinion about several scenes in which a B-17 shadow appears on the ground instead of a B-52.

You wrote that something was dreadfully wrong somewhere, but on the contrary I believe that this is just more of Kubrick's subtle humor. The B-17 "Leper Colony" appeared in "Twelve O'Clock High" (1947) as the aircraft to which General Savage's nemesis Col. Gately was assigned as aircraft commander, receiving every "dead beat" crew person from the bomb group as punishment for Gately's supposed "yellow streak a mile wide." What better comedic flashback than to show the B-17 "Leper Colony" shadow on the ground as the B-52 of the same name is flying overhead?



Dan, My name is Scott P and I'm an asst. professor in the department of political science at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). I'm teaching a "war and international conflict" class this semester (syllabus attached) and had already scheduled a showing of Dr. Strangelove before seeing your article on teaching the movie in PS. I saw your article about ten days before our scheduled "real" class on the nuclear era that was going to lead into the movie. I just wanted to take the time to thank you for writing such a useful and relevant article. I pulled a lot of stuff from your article to use in my lecture and was able to do a much much better job of setting up the movie than I otherwise would have been able to. I'm also using the film "Battle of Algiers" and Ken Saro-Wiwa's novel about the Biafran war "Sozaboy." I've had a teaching Sozaboy article in the back of my head for awhile and have just never gotten around to it with everything else in my schedule. Just wanted to thank you for getting around to the Strangelove article in your busy schedule. As well as being an interesting read, it was of great practical relevance to my course. Thanks again. If you are ever coming down to Indianapolis for any reason, please let me know. This is my first semester here (I taught at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey for 3 years before coming here) so teaching two new courses has prevented me from getting to Bloomington, let alone South Bend so far. Best wishes, Scott


Hey, Dan. You are famous. This was in the daily report from The Chroncile of Higher Education (which means maybe the regular paper edition will also carry it).

MAGAZINES & JOURNALS A glance at the September issue of "Political Science & Politics": Teaching "Dr. Strangelove" "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" was the cold war's pinnacle of cinematic camp. But as zany and surreal as the movie is, Dan Lindley writes that Stanley Kubrick's 1964 classic has eerie parallels to real-life policies and security situations. Mr. Lindley, a professor of international relations at the University of Notre Dame, uses the film to teach students -- many of whom have no memories of the Cold War -- about a range of policy issues. One of the main points of the movie is the strategic importance of nuclear deterrence and mutually assured destruction. Just as in real life, the characters in "Dr. Strangelove" operate in a world in which each side knows and fears the other's nuclear capabilities. That fear and knowledge is indispensable for effective deterrence. Otherwise, "deterrence is impossible if the enemy fears nothing and does not mind being dead and destroyed." Another theme of the movie echoed in the real world is the concept of pre-emptive strikes. This policy highlights another major problem, both in the movie and in reality: poor military-civilian relations. In both the movie and in real life, the military, which is enamored of the pre-emptive-strike policy, tends to want to act independently of civilian commanders. Mr. Lindley examines the precariousness of this relationship in detail, along with other issues that he says make cold-war studies relevant today. The article is not available online, but information about the journal can be found at ____________________________________________________

I, by the way, used to show it in class also. With great success both in terms of the students enjoying it and in terms of the way it opened up some of the deterrence logics. mf


Dan: Good to see you in San Fran, and I thought the panel you organized went very well. I got home to my PS and your excellent teaching guide to Dr. Strangelove, from which I will crib liberally. However, there might be another name in the running for the model of Strangelove. James Dougherty ("How to Think about Nuclear Weapons and Disarmament") was my mentor in college (St. Joseph's in Philadelphia). As an early writer on nuclear stuff, he knew all these guys. He swore to me that Strangelove could not be Kahn for the reasons you set out, but also denied that it was Kissinger. He said that he thought (and I did not press him on why) it was based on Ludwig von Bertalanffy, a theoretical biologist at the University of Alberta in Canada who did quite a bit of work on General Systems Theory that was influential among the early nuclear thinkers. Dougherty is still around, and can probably be reached through the St. Joe's website if you want to shoot him an e-mail and see if he can be drawn out on his theory. Cheers, Greg


Hey, I'm a senior at a high school in southwest Kansas, and I'm doing a paper on Dr. Strangelove--how the characters were based on individuals in real life, how the movie parodied and warned us about real life at the same time, and how the characters in the movie look towards the bomb for a sort of gratification.I found your paper extremely useful, and you did mention you were interested in seeing how it was being used.  I haven't started writing the paper yet, but if you're interested in reading it, I'll send you a copy (MS word ok?) once i'm done. Thanks again for the great paper!


On your web page you wrote: "Dr. Strangelove is a black and sarcastic comedy about a commander of a U.S. Air Force Base, General Jack D. Ripper, who diverts his B-52 bombers from airborne alert to an attack on the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons. This threatens to set off a doomsday device which endangers all life on the surface of earth. The doomsday weapon is unrealistic. But, if, on the other hand, you think of it as analogous to mutually assured destruction (the near total destruction of the U.S. and Soviet Union that would have occurred in a real nuclear war), then almost everything that happens in the movie might have actually happened. It is a frightening reality in which the U.S. and the Soviet Union were constantly ready to destroy each other with ½ an hour. Unlikely and improbable, yes. Possible, yes."

 The comment concerning "unrealistic," isn't quite so accurate. The Soviets did consider such a weapon, which was designed to some detail and a scale model was even built. One web citation of this device is at this address:

In the early stages of the cold war. 1950's or 1960's the Soviet Union developed, but never built, a doomsday machine. It was a large ship to be anchored in one of the seas that they controlled. The ship was to contain enough atomic material to destroy all life on earth. It would do this by splattering the radiation into the atmosphere. It was to be set off automatically if enough radiation was detected in a select group of cities in the Soviet Union. It could not be turned off and there was to be no human control once it was built. Their rationale for it was that if they could not live as Communist/socialist then the Capitalist also would not live to enslave them. All life would be destroyed. I am sure that a little searching would turn up several references to the ship design.

The reason that this is possible has to do with the way a fission-fusion-fission bomb works. As you may know, a fusion bomb is triggered by a small fission bomb, known as the primary. This device provides the high temperature necessary to cause fusion in the secondary. Some bomb designs (this is from open literature sources) incorporate a final stage in which uranium is used to cause additional fission energy release. A description of this may be found in Dark Sun by Richard Rhodes. In his book, Rhodes notes that there is no practical limit to the amount of final stage uranium which can be added to this design. If a very large amount of uranium is used, the bomb size can be enormous.


[Ed note: this became a long discussion about bomb design, political vs. scientific realism, and so forth.]


Hello.  I have read some (but not all) of your internet essay on Dr. Strangelove.  Very informative, and a lot of fun!

I just wanted to add a couple of pedantic notes:

You mentioned that the “ ‘U.S.A.F. slogan [was] "Peace is Our Profession." “  Actually, that was SAC’s slogan, I believe.

I was glad that you expressed skepticism that a mere wing of bombers could cover the entire breadth of the USSR – it had also occurred to me that this was ridiculous.

You might want to know that not long ago I bought a DVD “collector’s edition“ copy of Dr. Strangelove (shipped via from the UK).  Tomorrow I will show it in my Cold War Culture and Politics class at a university here in Baku, Azerbaijan where I teach international relations.  

My students have been reading about nuclear deterrence theory, including the works of Herman Kahn and Thomas Schelling, both of whom were mentioned in the liner notes for the Columbia TriStar DVD.  

But in the first paragraph of these notes appears a blunder that I alerted Columbia/TriStar about today via e-mail.

The text says of the book Red Alert that “The book...made a major impact on Britain’s top two nuclear strategists Thomas C. Schelling and Herman Kahn.”  

How the underpaid copy writer at TriStar concluded that Schelling and Kahn were British is beyond me.  I cc’d Thomas Schelling, but the e-mail keeps getting bounced back to me, so I’ve got an obsolete e-mail address for him.

At any rate, tomorrow we show the film.  I’ll let my students know about your very interesting and helpful web essay.

CEP Visiting Faculty Fellow
Baku, Azerbaijan


No relation, but interesting to see the name.  I studied Political
Science/ International Studies at Southwest Texas State University a
few years ago.  I think Dr. Hindson went to Notre Dame, maybe you know
him.  Went into the work world before completing though. 
Other than the name similarity, was just wanting to say your links are
awesome.  Guy at work mentioned a phrase he stopped worrying and
learned to love the bomb, (his response to my idea of getting a gas
mask to be a American that is prepared, and it would probably look cool
on the bathroom door..I was being sarcastic) and I had run across the
study guide you have a few years back. I had to instant message the
link to him.
Take Care,



Your suggestion on Lindley's article in PS was excellent. I found some

interesting commentary on his website as well, with links to declassified

documents from the Eisenhower administration which did spell out plans for

subordinates to carry out nuclear attacks (much like Plan R!).


Associate Professor
 Department of Political Science
The University of Iowa



I had to respond to some questions over Dr. Strangelove in my International
Relations class, and I found your paper to be more than helpful when
trying to find answers to my questions.  Thank you!

                                    C P


Dear Dan Lindley;
I enjoyed your piece on Dr. Strangelove.
When I worked in the newsroom at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in Lubbock, Texas, from 1976 through 1989 there were three of us who used to watch that movie all the time. A friend was visiting from Austin when we had rented Dr. Strangelove and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. We were saying the lines before the actors. "let me guess," my friends said, "you guys have seen these movies before."
I usually liked to let about 6 months go by before I watched Dr. Strangelove over. One time about 1981 my son Chris -- who was about 11 then -- had about five friends over when I started playing Dr. Strangelove. "Hey guys this is Dad's favorite movie, let's watch it," Chris said. They all got in a semicircle around the TV. When the movie started, Chris asked if it was like The Wizard of Oz or did it stay black and white? Seconds after I told them it stayed black and white they were gone.
Have you ever noticed how Peter Bull cracks up near the end of the movie at Peter Seller's antics? I think It happens when Strangelove starts pounding his hand. I had watched the movie several times and never noticed it until someone pointed it out to me.
Respectfully yours,


Dear Dr. Lindley:


I have read and enjoyed your PS essay on Dr. Strangelove and will be consulting your longer version I have just now realized is on your home page.  I have written an essay which draws upon Dr. Strangelove (which, I confess, is my all-time favorite film) as well as on another film (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure).  Born of some late night musings during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, the essay offers reflections about the dubious topic of “how we Americans think”. I emphasize the word “essay”:  while I think I have something here, I could hardly characterize this piece as “scientific”.  So, while the essay leans heavily upon Strangelove, the essay goes beyond the film.

 It seems appropriate here to mention that I am Associate Professor of Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim Norway, and happen to be American.  Living as I do outside the US, I do spend some time musing upon what makes the US seem so very different.

 As I sense I am talking to a fellow Strangelove enthusiast, I attach the essay.  It is for your amusement and interest but naturally I would be interested in any feedback you have.  I have published a form of this in Norwegian but would be interested in developing this for an American audience, either as an essay or as a more serious piece of research.  Since it pushes me rather beyond my traditional areas of specialty (which are more IR theory and Comparative Politics), I’d be greatly appreciative of any suggestions you might have along these lines. What format might be interested in such a piece?  Since I am in a position to interpret the US for a non-American audience, I am eager for any feedback helps me do a better job.  

 In closing, let me tell you just how much I appreciated your PS piece.  I grew up as an Army brat and always felt that the film captured the essence of the military – the “peace is our profession” felt absolutely on target – although I was unaware that this was the SAC slogan.  It certainly captured the logic and the atmosphere of the times.  The dialogue is masterful and the acting terrific.  Students today have so little feeling for the atmosphere of the times that the film’s value as a teaching aid simply grows year by year.

I hope of a dialogue with you,




At 01:48 PM 11/12/2005, you wrote:

Hello Mr. Lindley,

I am studying international relations (first year) at the University of Toronto. We are required to watch Dr. Strangelove for the class. I enjoyed the movie - I love Peter Sellers.

I was searching for information about the movie that might help me to interpret the themes in the movie as they related to IR. I did a general Google search under 'Dr. Strangelove and deterrence' and your article was one of the first, and the best in my opinion.

Your article has helped me to better understand the concepts of zero sum game and relative gains. Thank you.

I wondered if the character of Dr. Strangelove, when he starts freaking out like a Nazi, is hinting at the Nazi generals who were incorporated into the American military establishment after WWII? From what I understand they were provided haven in the US, educated at US universities, and some of their military/torture tactics were used to create CIA field books. I am not sure if this information would have been known at the time of the making of the movie, but that is what came to my mind when Dr. Strangelove started referring to the President as 'Mien Fuehrer'.


University of Toronto

To which I responded in part:

I can't confirm the torture part, but the knowledge of where we got some of our best scientists is widely known and was since the beginning.

See this song by Tom Lehrer, which came out in 1965:  (really fun to listen to the whole album, I promise):  Another great nuke song:



Dear Prof. Lindley,
It was with much excitement that I discovered the links to PDF files on your
Strangelove notes this morning here in Denver, where I work with Nile
Southern in keeping up the official Terry Southern website.
Any time we get a wonderful submission like that, we like to post it under
our "Strangelove Watch" section. I'd like to link your documents to our
site; do you have any objections?
It's also nice to run across people who admire the great Terry Southern as
much as I (and others) do. Since 2001 his stock has been rising, with new
books, film events, and much more in the works that will eventually be added
to our website.
Thanks again, and contact me any time you a reference to Terry or his works
(films and books).
Webmaster, Official Site

Here is something very nice from a prof. at Notre Dame U.

Would you like to write him back, as I link his work up to our STRANGELOVE
WATCH pages?



I just found your notes after showing Dr. Strangelove to my AP World History class.  They are a great help!



Social Studies Department

Gifted Resource Teacher

Education Minnesota/Edina Building Representative



I thought I would let you know that I am using your teaching guide to "Dr. Strangelove" in my 11th grade US History class.  I have used your notes to help prepare the class for discussion about the cold war, the American and Soviet social/political life and attitudes in the 1950s and 60s.  It has helped me to prepare an outline of questions the students are to consider while they are watching the film, as well as a guide to their group discussions on the film and its representation of the Cold War era. 
Thank you for your efforts,it has made my life that much easier!
The Dalles Wahtonka High School
The Dalles, OR




Hi Dan,
In response to your request on your Dr Strangelove website, I read your notes as research for an essay I wrote and submitted just before Christmas. I'm a third year BA (Hons) Arts Education student at the University of Leeds, West Yorkshire. I came across them by typing Dr Strangelove in Google and they were very useful, thank you. The essay was for a module entitled "Cinema and Otherness" and I discussed how Kubrick satirised Cold War paranoia by utilising the concept of the 'Other' and focusing on the United States' 'Othering' of Soviet communists during that time.
Thanks again,




Strangelove has long been my favorite film. I am using it this semester in the last go-round of a course I have taught for 20 years on American Political Thought and Popular Culture
(Political Science 324) at Montana State University.
I will keep you posted on how it went and how the student papers turned out.
RP, Emeritus Professor, Political Science




Mr. Lindley,
I stumbled upon your notes while web-searching CRM 114, because I wanted to know of it's derivation (the radio discriminator) after a Saturday night popcorn viewing Dr. Strangelove in depth for the 3rd time.  I'm a technical / electronics kind of a guy who also enjoys Clancy novels to the bone.
I was drawn into your analysis of the movie, and thoroughly enjoyed your comparisons of the film to real world potential of total annihilation of civilization.  I grew up with duck 'n cover---"drop" under your desk and aim your butt to the wall of windows.  My late and brilliant Uncle T (who spent his childhood in the library) was an early pioneer at Sperry Rand and Univac.  Later, he was recruited by McDonnell-Douglas in the 70's and 80's to work on ICBM missile guidance-related programming on Quadulene (sp?) Atoll in the Pacific.  He was never one to yack in detail, but he did indelibly impress on us youngsters during family gatherings the perilous state of humankind, and the scope of unimaginably concise and destructive hydrogen weapons.  We were all ears, often in stunned silence followed by nervous swallowing.  He inadvertently scared hell out of us.  Now, at 56, after a lifetime of adapting to the nuclear threat, I find the whole thing immensely entertaining, unbelievable, strange, curious.  Like most, I've become numb over it.  In looking backward, I'm am truly amazed that we've kept the bomb contained since 1945.  As the 2nd tier other-worldly being in "Contact" conveyed to Dr. Arroway, "you are strange species, <approximating> you are capable of such horror, but also of such compassion"....something like that.  We are magnificent creatures, complicated egomaniacs, no doubt about it.
I tend to align myself with Warren Buffet, who believes a nuclear detonation in some big city on earth is inevitable in the near time, given the number of fanatical rogue factions circulating with access to big money.  I find myself wondering... could such a single (terrorist) event pull that big hair trigger leading to unstoppable missile exchanges, and thus the end?  Whew.
I will see the movie again this evening, now armed with your notes.
Thanks for sharing your stuff online. 




Further clarification. The google led me to Wikipedia’s article about Dr. Strangelove which had a link to your article.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:53 PM
Subject: Your Teaching Guide to Dr. Strangelove

 I googled “Buck Turgidson Hair Mussed” and your article came up. Hope this is helpful to you.


Sarasota, FL

PS I was looking for an audio copy of his speech along with others for a radio program I do on a local station. If you’re interested here’s the info.

 Tune in Monday, August  27, 2007 from 7 to 9 p.m. for Hambone Willie’s blues &  other roots music program on WSLR – LPFM 96.5, Sarasota’s community radio station. 
In Sarasota tune in at 96.5 on the FM dial or you can stream the program from the internet by going to and selecting “
live broadcasting,”  and following the instructions.

 This week in memory of the ending of  World War II on September 2, 1945 and the beginning of the Cold War I’ll be playing popular songs from World War II and songs about the Cold War.  Featured songs will come from The Victory Collection: the Smithsonian remembers when America went to war, The War Years: Songs that Won the War, The War Years: G.I. Favorites and The Atomic Platters: Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security. Get your barroom ready and tease your taste buds with a rum and coca cola with Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra and wash it all down at the end of the night with an atomic cocktail while dreaming of those wonderful days of the Good War and the Evil Empire.

Hambone Willie 







I just found your Strangelove notes online and wanted to help out and let you know how I found them. I am a film major who is currently doing a research paper on why Strangelove has all the merit it does and how it changed the movie industry as well as film history. I googled "Dr strangelove analysis" and your page came up as a hit. Thank you, you had very useful information.





At 06:33 PM 12/29/2008, you wrote:

Mr Lindley,
I find it meaningful that your notes are used as a reference in the ?A Report of the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency?.
Dan Lindley, 09/30/2008; v.4.1 (long). (1)
What I learned since I stopped worrying and studied the movie:
A Teaching Guide to Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (2)
released 1963/64 in the height of the Cold War
Note: I would very appreciate hearing from anyone, especially how they heard of these notes, how they are using them, and any suggestions for improvements.
Thank you, Dan Lindley, dlindley "at"
In response to your request, I heard of these your notes in the following document:
Page 32 of 96  using Adobe Pages, see footnote 8
(Page 26 of actual document)
Having spent a number of years working with Minuteman and Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) I found your article to be quite accurate.
In Minuteman the motto was:  "World-wide delivery in 30 minutes or less, or your next one is free."  If you haven?t seen it already, I suggest you read the ?Countdown to Doomsday? article about halfway down the page on the following web link:
In GLCM one ?unofficial? motto was: ?No community too small! No city too large!  We deliver!?   GLCM was a nuclear variable-yield kiloton-range weapon, what a concept.
Currently I am working in the field of cyber security of industrial control systems (energy, gas, transportation, water, wastewater, chemical, refinery etc?).





I’m looking at your page on the Notre Dame website and it sounds like you have settled there very well. Monsterhouse? is that YOUR house?! It’s playing in the background and I’m printing out your Dr. Strangelove article. How could I have done without it for so long?

 Wishing you and yours a very happy new year --




Dear Mr. Lindley, 

After reading your Dr. Strangelove notes i took the opportunity to thank you for posting up this notes. I am not a college student or anything important(yet) but i (apparently) do show some sort of intelligence so one of my teachers recommended me to watch this movie. After watching it and giving it my own thought i decided to research it and see what it was all really about, so i found your notes and i want to thank you for them and maby tell you that you should make them a bit shorter i think it would help your students (im guessing) to stay focus on them. Well i was just responding to your notes to congratulate you and to just point out that bit problem i had. Thank you for your time




I just watched this movie on Netflix.
I didn't really understand why Dr. Stranglove had such a hard time
with his hand.
I realized that deformity is an archetype, but i was not sure if there
was more too it than that.
Great page, I enjoyed reading through it.




Dear Prof. Lindley,
I showed the movie Dr. Strangelove in my Intro to IR class yesterday
and the students had a lot of fun. As I was getting ready for leading
the class discussion about the movie, I went over your PS article.
Your teaching guide is really great! Thank you!!



Mr.(or Dr.?) Lindley,

I saw Dr. Strangelove last night for the first time and was curious about several aspects of it. A Google search brought your paper up and I read it. (The link where I found it - It broadened my understanding of the film immensely.
What puzzled me most was the ending where Dr. Strangelove is having a Nazi fit, of sorts. I wasn't positive on where Kubrick was trying to fit a Nazi reference into the Cold War. My best guess was that there was some sort of plan similar to the mine-plan that Kubrick was satirizing and likening to Nazi policies and plans. At the time, I did not know that many former Nazis worked on the U.S. weapons systems, but I still suspect there may be more to it.

Anyway, you asked for suggestions for improvements and since I am blessed/cursed with the inability to read anything without spell/grammar/punctuation-checking it as I read, I have recorded a small number of errors I noticed. Changes are highlighted in yellow:

1st paragraph: "From delegation of command authority to advocacy of pre-emption, Dr. Strangelove makes us laugh at what was and is terrifyingly close to reality."

"It is a frightening reality in which the U.S. and the Soviet Union were constantly ready to destroy each other within an hour."

Advocacy of Pre-emption paragraph: "
If we look at crises more generally, both scenarios illustrate their dangers."

The Security Dilemma (and how it drives arms races)
"This is because as country A buys weapons, the relative strength of country B is decreased."

Mirror Imaging (and hypocrisy) paragraph:
"[This comes from the man who was just with Miss Foreign Affairs and who shows a keen interest in the end of the monogamous relationship."

Civil-Military relations: "
Ripper: "He said war was too important to be left to the Generals.""

"81:15+ Note the shadow of the B-52 on the ground. But no! It's a B-17. There is something dreadfully wrong somewhere..."

Thanks for the help in understanding the movie,




1/10/10 from JKC:

National Security Archive Update, January 15, 2010
The Air Force versus Hollywood: Documentary on "SAC Command Post" Tried to Rebut "Dr. Strangelove" and "Fail Safe"



Dear J,

What a kind note!  Thank you!

Though you do kinda blow your credibility with that line about "reliable source."  I know the source, and ....

Seriously, while your modesty is to be appreciated, and it beats the alternative, please consider that, as a fellow human being, you are in every position to critique the piece if you so feel.  Have fun with the movie!  You can find the script, and a longer, funnier version of the guide on my website below (assuming you found the published, more serious one on ProQuest).  Though once you learn about the football plays, Ms. Foreign Affairs, the B-17 shadow, and Vegas/Dallas, you may have to watch the movie again....

All the best,

Dan Lindley

At 04:36 PM 3/30/2010, you wrote:

Professor Lindley,

I attend North Georgia College and State University.  In my English Composition class, we watched the film Dr. Strangelove.  We were directed to then write an essay about the film-its comical side as well as its serious side.  In my research, I discovered your article, "What I Learned Since I Stopped Worrying and Studied the Movie: A Teaching Guide to Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove,"  in my university's library database through ProQuest.  In my mind, though unorganized, were thoughts along the same lines as your article (certainly not as deep).  However, I didn't know how to word the essay or what facts I could use to back it up.  BUT, I found your article, which I can cite as a reliable source.  I found the article to be informative and interesting.  The comparisons and ideas presented in your article are outstanding.  I had to watch the film again with the knowledge your article gave me-which, in turn, made the film all the more interesting and moving.  I do not have any advice as to how you could improve it and I'm certainly in no position to critique it-besides, it was a powerfully informative document. 

Thanks for writing it!


Student at NGCSU