Romancing the atom
Robert R. Johnson

Romancing the atom

nuclear infatuation from the radium girls to Fukushima

Published by Praeger in Santa Barbara, Calif .
Written in English.

About the Book

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.

The atom and its associated power have captivated the human consciousness for more than 100 years. From the production of glow-in-the-dark wristwatch faces to studies on the effects of radiation on the human body, there have been many shocking examples of our willingness to expose innocent victims to great harm in exchange for the perceived benefit.

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 sheds 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.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
PART ONE: INVENTING THE ATOMIC MINDSET:
DIAL PAINTERS, COMIC BOOKS, AND PARADISE
LOST
1. For the Love of Pretty Things: The Radium Girls and
“Dying for Science” 3
2. On a Need-to-Know Basis: From “The Bomb” to the
Uranium Frenzy to the Living Room 15
3. “Only Answered in the Stars”: The Human Testing
of the Bikini Islanders 27
PART TWO: USING THE ATOMIC MINDSET:
NATIVE AMERICANS, GUINEA PIGS, AND URANIUM
COTTAGE INDUSTRIES 49
4. Engagements with Rocks and Land: Uranium, Dine´
Culture, and the Yellow Monster 53
5. Dangerous Familiars Part 1: Nuclear Science and Its
Human Subjects 69
6. Dangerous Familiars Part 2: Three Cases of Human
Testing, 1949–2011 83
7. Doing It in the Backyard: Alba Craft, Inc., Part 1 98
PART THREE: CONFRONTING THE ATOMIC
MINDSET: COMMUNITY ACTION, THE RHETORIC
OF NUCLEAR POWER, AND FUKUSHIMA 117
8. What’s a Community to Do? The Alba Craft
Processing Site, Part 2 119
9. Nuclear Green and the End of Power 140
10. Nightmares Revisited: Japan, Tsunamis, the Atom,
and Ironies 152
Afterword: Of Romance, Soteigai, Celebrations,
and the Mundane 163
Appendix: Living in an Atomic World: Voices from
“On the Ground” of the Nuclear Age 167
Making Up Your Own Mindset: Reading Group Discussion
Questions and Classroom Resources 197
Bibliography 203
Index 213

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Other Titles Vignettes of the atomic mindset from the radium girls to nuclear green

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class 338.4/7621480973
Library of Congress HD9698.U52 .J65 2012

The Physical Object

Format Hardcover
Pagination p. cm.
Number of pages 220

ID Numbers

Open Library OL25260387M
ISBN 13 9780313392795, 9780313392801
LC Control Number 2012011724

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History

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August 31, 2012 Edited by 24.247.40.31 added a link in the desription to a web site for the book
August 31, 2012 Edited by 24.247.40.31 I added the table of contents, a description of the edition, and a jpeg of the book cover
May 30, 2012 Edited by LC Bot import new book
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