The Rise of Nuclear Fear

Author: Spencer R. Weart
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674065069
Format: PDF, ePub
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After the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant had a meltdown, protesters around the world challenged nuclear power. Climate change has never aroused this visceral dread. Weart dissects this paradox, showing that powerful images surrounding nuclear energy hold us captive, allowing fear, rather than facts, to drive our thinking and public policy.

Nuclear Fear

Author: Spencer R. WEART
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674044983
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Our thinking is inhabited by images-images of sometimes curious and overwhelming power. The mushroom cloud, weird rays that can transform the flesh, the twilight world following a nuclear war, the white city of the future, the brilliant but mad scientist who plots to destroy the world-all these images and more relate to nuclear energy, but that is not their only common bond. Decades before the first atom bomb exploded, a web of symbols with surprising linkages was fully formed in the public mind. The strange kinship of these symbols can be traced back, not only to medieval symbolism, but still deeper into experiences common to all of us. This is a disturbing book: it shows that much of what we believe about nuclear energy is not based on facts, but on a complex tangle of imagery suffused with emotions and rooted in the distant past. Nuclear Fear is the first work to explore all the symbolism attached to nuclear bombs, and to civilian nuclear energy as well, employing the powerful tools of history as well as findings from psychology, sociology, and even anthropology. The story runs from the turn of the century to the present day, following the scientists and journalists, the filmmakers and novelists, the officials and politicians of many nations who shaped the way people think about nuclear devices. The author, a historian who also holds a Ph.D. in physics, has been able to separate genuine scientific knowledge about nuclear energy and radiation from the luxuriant mythology that obscures them. In revealing the history of nuclear imagery, Weart conveys the hopeful message that once we understand how this imagery has secretly influenced history and our own thinking, we can move on to a clearer view of the choices that confront our civilization. Table of Contents: Preface Part One: Years of Fantasy, 1902-1938 1. Radioactive Hopes White Cities of the Future Missionaries for Science The Meaning of Transmutation 2. Radioactive Fears Scientific Doomsdays The Dangerous Scientist Scientists and Weapons Debating the Scientist's Role 3. Radium: Elixir or Poison? The Elixir of Life Rays of Life Death Rays Radium as Medicine and Poison 4. The Secret, the Master, and the Monster Smashing Atoms The Fearful Master Monsters and Victims Real Scientists The Situation before Fission Part Two: Confronting Reality, 1939-1952 5. Where Earth and Heaven Meet Imaginary Bomb-Reactors Real Reactors and Safety Questions Planned Massacres "The Second Coming" 6. The News from Hiroshima Cliché Experts Hiroshima Itself Security through Control by Scientists? Security through Control over Scientists? 7. National Defenses Civil Defenses Bombs as a Psychological Weapon The Airmen Part Three: New Hopes and Horrors, 1953-1963 8. Atoms for Peace A Positive Alternative Atomic Propaganda Abroad Atomic Propaganda at Home 9. Good and Bad Atoms Magical Atoms Real Reactors The Core of Mistrust Tainted Authorities 10. The New Blasphemy Bombs as a Violation of Nature Radioactive Monsters Blaming Authorities 11. Death Dust Crusaders against Contamination A Few Facts Clean or Filthy Bombs? 12. The Imagination of Survival Visions of the End Survivors as Savages The Victory of the Victim The Great Thermonuclear Strategy Debate The World as Hiroshima 13. The Politics of Survival The Movement Attacking the Warriors Running for Shelter Cuban Catharsis Reasons for Silence Part Four: Suspect Technology, 1956-1986 14. Fail/Safe Unwanted Explosions: Bombs Unwanted Explosions: Reactors Advertising the Maximum Accident 15. Reactor Poisons and Promises Pollution from Reactors The Public Loses Interest The Nuplex versus the China Syndrome 16. The Debate Explodes The Fight against Antimissiles Sounding the Radiation Alarm Reactors: A Surrogate for Bombs? Environmentalists Step In 17. Energy Choices Alternative Energy Sources Real Reactor Risks "It's Political" The Reactor Wars 18. Civilization or Liberation? The Logic of Authority and Its Enemies Nature versus Culture Modes of Expression The Public's Image of Nuclear Power 19. The War Fear Revival: An Unfinished Chapter Part Five The Search for Renewal 20. The Modern Arcanum Despair and Denial Help from Heaven? Objects in the Skies Mushroom and Mandala 21. Artistic Transmutations The Interior Holocaust Rebirth from Despair Toward the Four-Gated City Conclusion A Personal Note Sources and Methodology Notes Index Reviews of this book: Nuclear Fear is a rich, layered journey back through our 'atomic history' to the primal memories of monstrous mutants and mad scientists. It is a deeply serious book but written in an accessible style that reveals the culture in which this fear emerges only to be suppressed and emerge again. --Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe Reviews of this book: A historical portrait of the quintessential modern nightmare...Weart shows in meticulous and fascinating detail how [the] ancient images of alchemy-fire, sexuality, Armageddon, gold, eternity and all the rest-immediately clustered around the new science of atomic physics...There is no question that the image of nuclear power reflects a complex and deeply disturbing portrait of what it means to be human. --Stephan Salisbury, Philadelphia Inquirer Reviews of this book: A detailed, probing study of American hopes, dreams and insecurities in the twentieth-century. Weart has a poet's acumen for sensing human feelings ... Nuclear Fear remains captivating as history...and original as an anthropological study of how nuclear power, like alchemy in medieval times, offers a convenient symbol for deeply-rooted human feelings. --Los Angeles Times Reviews of this book: Weart's tale boldly sweeps from the futuristic White City of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the discovery of radioactivity in 1896 through Hiroshima and Star Wars... (An] admirable call for synthesis of art and science in a true transmutation that takes us beyond nuclear fear. --H. Bruce Franklin, Science

Competing with the Soviets

Author: Audra J. Wolfe
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 142140771X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For most of the second half of the twentieth century, the United States and its allies competed with a hostile Soviet Union in almost every way imaginable except open military engagement. The Cold War placed two opposite conceptions of the good society before the uncommitted world and history itself, and science figured prominently in the picture. Competing with the Soviets offers a short, accessible introduction to the special role that science and technology played in maintaining state power during the Cold War, from the atomic bomb to the Human Genome Project. The high-tech machinery of nuclear physics and the space race are at the center of this story, but Audra J. Wolfe also examines the surrogate battlefield of scientific achievement in such diverse fields as urban planning, biology, and economics; explains how defense-driven federal investments created vast laboratories and research programs; and shows how unfamiliar worries about national security and corrosive questions of loyalty crept into the supposedly objective scholarly enterprise. Based on the assumption that scientists are participants in the culture in which they live, Competing with the Soviets looks beyond the debate about whether military influence distorted science in the Cold War. Scientists’ choices and opportunities have always been shaped by the ideological assumptions, political mandates, and social mores of their times. The idea that American science ever operated in a free zone outside of politics is, Wolfe argues, itself a legacy of the ideological Cold War that held up American science, and scientists, as beacons of freedom in contrast to their peers in the Soviet Union. Arranged chronologically and thematically, the book highlights how ideas about the appropriate relationships among science, scientists, and the state changed over time. -- Michael D. Gordin, Princeton University

Scientists in power

Author: Spencer R. Weart
Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Examining the interrelationships among science, society, and technology, Weart expands upon the sociology and politics of science as he discusses how a small coterie of scientists developed the uranium bomb and transformed history

How The End Begins

Author: Ron Rosenbaum
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0857202774
Format: PDF
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Each chapter of the How the End Beginsdeconstructs the dangers we face. Rosenbaum begins by showing all the ways the post-Cold War order that tried to impose a set of rules of averting a nuclear mistake has fallen apart. In chapter 2, he describes the journey of one Bruce Blair, once a missile launcher, whose experience inside the nuclear establishment left him alarmed about its vulnerabilities. Chapter 3 looks at nuclear war from the Russian side, using the architect of that nation's early warning system as a focus. Chapter 4 looks at how the Bush Administration helped pushed the world closer to a nuclear conflict by rewriting the rules of deterrence. Chapter 5 describes all the ways the international incidents we have seen - Georgia, the Israeli raid on Syria, the Iranian moves - are evidence that some governments have shown a willingness to move closer to the brink of a conflict involving nuclear weapons. The rest of the book looks at the broader nuclear issues facing the world in the 21st century: What is deterrence? Who can claim to have it? How many nuclear weapons can we live with? Is zero really possible? In other words: Can we undream the nightmare?

The Atomic Bazaar

Author: William Langewiesche
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374106789
Format: PDF, ePub
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A shocking study of the global proliferation of nuclear weapons examines the spread of nuclear technology into unstable, undeveloped, and other hostile nations, as well as the potential that such weapons will fall into the hands of guerrilla terrorists, looking specifically at the role of renegade scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan and at the chances for nuclear terrorism. 75,000 first printing.

The Theater of Operations

Author: Joseph Masco
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822375990
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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How did the most powerful nation on earth come to embrace terror as the organizing principle of its security policy? In The Theater of Operations, Joseph Masco locates the origins of the present-day U.S. counterterrorism apparatus in the Cold War's "balance of terror." He shows how, after the attacks of 9/11, the U.S. global War on Terror mobilized a wide range of affective, conceptual, and institutional resources established during the Cold War to enable a new planetary theater of operations. Tracing how specific aspects of emotional management, existential danger, state secrecy, and threat awareness have evolved as core aspects of the American social contract, Masco draws on archival, media, and ethnographic resources to offer a new portrait of American national security culture. Undemocratic and unrelenting, this counterterror state prioritizes speculative practices over facts, and ignores everyday forms of violence across climate, capital, and health in an unprecedented effort to anticipate and eliminate terror threats—real, imagined, and emergent.

African Americans Against the Bomb

Author: Vincent J. Intondi
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804793484
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Well before Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out against nuclear weapons, African Americans were protesting the Bomb. Historians have generally ignored African Americans when studying the anti-nuclear movement, yet they were some of the first citizens to protest Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Now for the first time, African Americans Against the Bomb tells the compelling story of those black activists who fought for nuclear disarmament by connecting the nuclear issue with the fight for racial equality. Intondi shows that from early on, blacks in America saw the use of atomic bombs as a racial issue, asking why such enormous resources were being spent building nuclear arms instead of being used to improve impoverished communities. Black activists' fears that race played a role in the decision to deploy atomic bombs only increased when the U.S. threatened to use nuclear weapons in Korea in the 1950s and Vietnam a decade later. For black leftists in Popular Front groups, the nuclear issue was connected to colonialism: the U.S. obtained uranium from the Belgian controlled Congo and the French tested their nuclear weapons in the Sahara. By expanding traditional research in the history of the nuclear disarmament movement to look at black liberals, clergy, artists, musicians, and civil rights leaders, Intondi reveals the links between the black freedom movement in America and issues of global peace. From Langston Hughes through Lorraine Hansberry to President Obama, African Americans Against the Bomb offers an eye-opening account of the continuous involvement of African Americans who recognized that the rise of nuclear weapons was a threat to the civil rights of all people.

Hiroshima to Fukushima

Author: Eiichiro Ochiai
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642387276
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Set against a backdrop of the recent disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, "Hiroshima to Fukushima" examines the issue of radiation safety. The author provides important and accurate scientific information about the radioactive substances arising from nuclear power plants and weapons, including the effects of this radiation on living organisms. Currently, humankind is at a crossroads and must decide whether to phase out or increase its reliance on nuclear power as weapons and an energy source. Although a few countries, mostly European, have vowed to abolish nuclear power as an energy source, many other countries are about to increase their nuclear power programs. This book is written from a Japanese perspective and thus provides an alternative to views of Western writers. The author includes rigorous scientific analyses, however maintains a broad scope, which allows the book to be accessible to decision-makers and non-specialists.

Fortress America

Author: Elaine Tyler May
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465093000
Format: PDF, ePub
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An award-winning historian untangles the roots of America's culture of fear, and argues that it imperils our democracy For the last sixty years, fear has seeped into every area of American life: Americans own more guns than citizens of any other country, sequester themselves in gated communities, and retreat from public spaces. And yet, crime rates have plummeted, making life in America safer than ever. Why, then, are Americans so afraid-and where does this fear lead to? In this remarkable work of social history, Elaine Tyler May demonstrates how our obsession with security has made citizens fear each other and distrust the government, making America less safe and less democratic. Fortress America charts the rise of a muscular national culture, undercutting the common good. Instead of a thriving democracy of engaged citizens, we have become a paranoid, bunkered, militarized, and divided vigilante nation.