Clouds of Deceit: The Deadly Legacy of Britain's Bomb Testsby Joan Smith
The full story of Britain's nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s has only recently begun to emerge. Here, for the first time, through interviews and eye-witness accounts from men who watched the mushroom clouds drift over Australia and the Pacific Ocean, the tests are vividly recreated. Using official documents recently made public, evidence gathered by the Australian… See more details below
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The full story of Britain's nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s has only recently begun to emerge. Here, for the first time, through interviews and eye-witness accounts from men who watched the mushroom clouds drift over Australia and the Pacific Ocean, the tests are vividly recreated. Using official documents recently made public, evidence gathered by the Australian government's Royal Commission of Inquiry into the tests, and her own experience as an investigative journalist, Joan Smith argues forcefully that the bomb tests are far from being a historical anecdote. They remain with us in the shape of the victims - servicemen, civilians and aborigines who witnessed them - and through Britain's continuing programme of nuclear weapons tests in the United States.
In this disturbing and horrific book, first published in 1985, Joan Smith raises crucial questions about the British government's responsibility to the people who took part in the tests - and shows how their effects may yet have a devastating impact on Britain's nuclear industry.
Joan Alison Smith (born 27 August 1953, London) is an English novelist, journalist and human rights activist, who is a former chair of the Writers in Prison committee in the English section of International PEN.
The daughter of a park superintendent, Smith was educated at a state school before reading Latin at the University of Reading in the early 1970s. After a spell as a journalist in local radio in Manchester, she joined the staff of the Sunday Times in 1979 and stayed at the newspaper until 1984, although Smith still contributes book reviews to the publication. She has had a regular column in the Guardian Weekend supplement, also freelancing for the newspaper and in recent years has contributed to The Independent, the Independent on Sunday, and the New Statesman.
In her non-fiction Smith displays a commitment to atheism, feminism and republicanism; she has travelled extensively and this is reflected in her articles. Smith has taken a strong anti-Iraq war stance. She is scornful of popular culture and once gave away her television set to her ex-husband, although she acquired a new set a decade later.
Outside the UK, Smith is probably best known for the Loretta Lawson series of crime novels. What Will Survive (2007) is a novel set in Lebanon in 1997 concerning a journalist's investigation into the death of a model and anti-landmine campaigner.
In 2003 she was offered the MBE for her services to PEN, but refused the award. She is a supporter of the political organisation, Republic and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.
- Bloomsbury USA
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