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The history of atomic testing is usually told as a story about big technology, big science, and complex global politics. Doom Towns: The People and Landscapes of Atomic Testing explains critical technological developments and the policies that drove weapons innovation within the context of thespecific environments and communities where testing actually took place. The book emphasizes the people who participated, protested, or were affected by atomic testing and explains the decision-making process that resulted in these people and places becoming the only locations and groups to actuallyexperience nuclear warfare during the Cold War. The graphic history presents various viewpoints directly linked to primary sources that reveal the complexity and uncertainty of this history to readers, while also providing evidence and access to archives to help them explore this controversial topic further and to reach their own informed conclusions about this history.
Interviews with people involved with nuclear tests at the Nevada Test site in PDF transcripts, MP3 recordings, and some video. To find MP3s, search for the name of the interviewee in the green search box.
WPA Film Library. The introduction of nuclear weapons to the U.S. arsenal dramatically changed military strategy. Instead of a conventional war, military leaders faced the possibility of deploying and defending against weapons capable of mass destruction. In preparation the U.S. government tested numerous atomic devices in the Nevada desert.
In 1851, a war began in what would become Yosemite National Park, a war against the indigenous inhabitants that has yet to come to a real conclusion. A century later--1951--and about a hundred and fifty miles away, another war began when the U. S. government started setting off nuclear bombs at the Nevada Test Site, in what was called a nuclear testing program but functioned as a war against the land and people of the Great Basin. Savage Dreams is an exploration of these two landscapes. Together they serve as our national Eden and Armageddon and offer up a lot of the history of the west, not only in terms of Indian and environmental wars, but in terms of the relationship between culture--the generation of beliefs and views--and its implementation as politics.
Americans' cultural love affair with their country's landscape started in the nineteenth century, when expansionism was often promoted as divine mission, the West was still the frontier, and scenery became the backdrop of nationalist mythology. With a promise of resources ripe for development, Manifest Destiny--era aesthetics often reinforced a system of environmental degradation while preserving the wide and wild view. Although the aesthetics have evolved, contemporary media are filled with American landscape images inspired by the nineteenth century. Terre Ryan examines this phenomenon by exploring the overlapping trails of national mythology, landscape aesthetics, patriotic discourse, and public policy. Tracing her journeys around bombing grounds in Nevada, logging sites in Oregon, and energy fields in Wyoming, she argues that business and government agencies often frame commercial projects and national myths according to nineteenth-century beliefs about landscape and bounty. Advertisements and political promotional materials following this aesthetic framework perpetuate frontier-era ideas about the environment as commodity, scenery, and cultural trashlands. Transmitted through all types of media, nineteenth-century perspectives on landscape continue to inform mainstream perceptions of the environment, environmental policies, and representations of American patriotism. Combining personal narrative with factual reportage, political and cultural critique, and historical analysis, Ryan reframes the images we see every day and places them into a larger national narrative.
On January 27, 1951, the first atomic weapon was detonated over a section of desert known as Frenchman Flat in southern Nevada, providing dramatic evidence of the Nevada Test Site's beginnings. Fifty years later, author A. Costandina Titus reviews contemporary nuclear policy issues concerning the continued viability of that site for weapons testing. Titus has updated her now-classic study of atomic testing with fifteen years of political and cultural history, from the mid-1980s Reagan-Gorbachev nuclear standoff to the authorization of the Nevada Test Site Research Center, a Desert Research Institute facility scheduled to open in 2001. In this second edition of Bombs in the Backyard, Titus deftly covers the post-Cold War transformation of American atomic policy as well as our overarching cultural interest in all matters atomic, making this a must-read for anyone interested in atomic policy and politics.
Between 1951 and 1962 the Atomic Energy Commission triggered some one hundred atmospheric detonations of nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site. U.S. military troops who participated in these tests were exposed to high doses of radiation. Among them was a young Marine named Leonard Bird. In Folding Paper Cranes Bird juxtaposes his devastating experience of those atomic exercises with three visits over his lifetime one in the 1950s before his Nevada assignment, one in 1981, and one in the early 1990s to the International Park for World Peace in Hiroshima. Among the monuments to tragedy and hope in Hiroshima s Peace Park stands a statue of Sadako Sasaki holding a crane in her outstretched arms. Sadako was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on her city; she was diagnosed with leukemia ten years later. According to popular Japanese belief, folding a thousand paper cranes brings good fortune. Sadako spent the last months of her young life folding hundreds of paper cranes. She folded 644 before she died. As he journeys from the Geiger counters, radioactive dust, and mushroom clouds of the Nevada desert to the bronze and ivory memorials for the dead in Japan, Bird himself a survivor of radiation-induced cancer seeks to make peace with his past and with a future shadowed by nuclear proliferation. His paper cranes are the poetry and prose of this haunting memoir. "
Australian Atomic Confessions reveals the compelling unknown story of the twelve British atomic bomb tests in Australia seen through the eyes of Aboriginal elders, atomic ex-veterans, experts and the Premier of South Australia.
Through archival footage and contemporary interviews, In My Lifetime portrays the history of the nuclear era and the complex search for "a way beyond". Manhattan Project scientists, former military personnel, and survivors of the first atomic bombs remind us how the nuclear age began -- and what we seek to avoid from happening ever again.