Romancing the Atom

Romancing the Atom : Nuclear Infatuation from the Radium Girls to Fukushima

3.5 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Description

This book presents a compelling account of atomic development over the last century that demonstrates how humans have repeatedly chosen to ignore the associated impacts for the sake of technological, scientific, military, and economic expediency.

In 1945, Albert Einstein said, "The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking ... the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind." This statement seems more valid today than ever. Romancing the Atom: Nuclear Infatuation from the Radium Girls to Fukushima presents compelling moments that clearly depict the folly and shortsightedness of our "atomic mindset" and shed light upon current issues of nuclear power, waste disposal, and weapons development.



The book consists of ten nonfiction historical vignettes, including the women radium dial painters of the 1920s, the expulsion of the Bikini Island residents to create a massive "petri dish" for post-World War II bomb and radiation testing, the government-subsidized uranium rush of the 1950s and its effects on Native American communities, and the secret radioactive material development facilities in residential neighborhoods. In addition, the book includes original interviews of prominent historians, writers, and private citizens involved with these poignant stories.



More information is available online at www.romancingtheatom.com.









Draws from top-secret government and military documents from the history of atomic development, archival documents from the Library of Congress, and letters from Albert Einstein and other prominent scientists during the 1950s and 1960s



Presents chronological histories of events such as the displacement and relocation of the Bikini Islanders, uranium mines on Native American lands, and the cleanup of a secret uranium milling facility in a residential neighborhood in Oxford, Ohio



Contains various maps including radioactive cleanup sites in the United States and other parts of the world



Includes many photographs and illustrations that accompany the text



Provides a bibliography containing a significant collection of books, magazine articles, newspaper reports, movies, comics, government documents, and other related archival materials
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Product details

  • Hardback | 217 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 22.86mm | 539.77g
  • Praeger Publishers Inc
  • Westport, United States
  • English
  • 21 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 031339279X
  • 9780313392795
  • 1,338,985

Review quote

"Johnson's familiar tone will make readers feel like he's in the room with them, telling a story about these (sometimes horrifying) events. . . . This book will interest readers who love the history of science, especially 20th-century, military, or weapons history buffs." - Library Journal "Romancing the Atom is not just a book about the shabby secrets of the atomic age, it also proposes a key for springing the lock on what has made all this possible. . . . Johnson's treatment is crisp and finely detailed. It offers a unique perspective . . . a jewel in plain sight." - Pasatiempo, The Santa Fe New Mexican
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About Robert R. Johnson

Robert R. Johnson is professor of rhetoric, composition, and technical communication in the Humanities Department at Michigan Technological University, Houghton.
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Rating details

20 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 10% (2)
4 30% (6)
3 60% (12)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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