Bracing for Armageddon : Why Civil Defense Never Worked
This timely book is a concise survey of the U.S. government's civil defense plans from World War II to the present, including Cold War detonations, Reagan-era Star Wars, and contemporary issues of homeland security. Garrison argues that the true purpose of federal civil defense was to legitimize deterrence policy and the arms race through false assurances to the masses that they could survive nuclear war and to hide the astronomical expenses of programs to protect the political elite. In examining the popular reaction to civil expense plans, she reveals how the public, recognizing the suicidal nature of nuclear war, ridiculed and rejected civil defense, crippling plans for its implementation.
- Hardback | 256 pages
- 152.4 x 236.2 x 22.9mm | 476.28g
- 01 May 2006
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
- 14 halftones, 1 line drawing
Well researched and convincingly argued. Moving from the later 1940s to the post-9/11 era, this book effectively links civil defense to larger issues of U.S. nuclear strategy and illuminates how seemingly marginal oppositional movements can cumulatively influence the course of events. While documenting the more absurd aspects of civil defense propaganda, Garrison does not settle for easy ridicule but approaches the topic with the moral seriousness it deserves. * Paul Boyer, author of By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age *
About Dee Garrison
Dee Garrison is a Professor of History Emeritus at Rutgers University who specializes in the history of American social movements, gender history, and peace history.