The Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico / Edition 1
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The Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico / Edition 1

by Joseph Masco
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691120773

ISBN-13: 9780691120775

Pub. Date: 03/27/2006

Publisher: Princeton University Press

The Nuclear Borderlands explores the sociocultural fallout of twentieth-century America's premier technoscientific project—the atomic bomb. Joseph Masco offers the first anthropological study of the long-term consequences of the Manhattan Project for the people that live in and around Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb, and the majority

Overview

The Nuclear Borderlands explores the sociocultural fallout of twentieth-century America's premier technoscientific project—the atomic bomb. Joseph Masco offers the first anthropological study of the long-term consequences of the Manhattan Project for the people that live in and around Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb, and the majority of weapons in the current U.S. nuclear arsenal, were designed. Masco examines how diverse groups—weapons scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, neighboring Pueblo Indian Nations and Nuevomexicano communities, and antinuclear activists—have engaged the U.S. nuclear weapons project in the post-Cold War period, mobilizing to debate and redefine what constitutes "national security."

In a pathbreaking ethnographic analysis, Masco argues that the U.S. focus on potential nuclear apocalypse during the Cold War obscured the broader effects of the nuclear complex on American society. The atomic bomb, he demonstrates, is not just the engine of American technoscientific modernity; it has produced a new cognitive orientation toward everyday life, provoking cross-cultural experiences of what Masco calls a "nuclear uncanny." Revealing how the bomb has reconfigured concepts of time, nature, race, and citizenship, the book provides new theoretical perspectives on the origin and logic of U.S. national security culture. The Nuclear Borderlands ultimately assesses the efforts of the nuclear security state to reinvent itself in a post-Cold War world, and in so doing exposes the nuclear logic supporting the twenty-first-century U.S. war on terrorism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691120775
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/27/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
438
Sales rank:
662,381
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii
Acknowledgments xi

Chapter 1: THE ENLIGHTENED EARTH 1
The Nuclear State of Emergency 5
Radioactive Nation-building 18
The Nuclear Uncanny 27
"A Multidimensional, Nonlinear, Complex System" 35

PART I: EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE PLUTONIUM ECONOMY 41

Chapter 2: NUCLEAR TECHNOAESTHETICS: THE SENSORY POLITICS OF THE BOMB IN LOS ALAMOS 43
The Bomb's Future 46
Above-ground Testing (1945-1962): Tactility and the Nuclear Sublime 55
Underground Testing (1963-1992): Embracing Complexity, Fetishizing Production 68
Science-Based Stockpile Stewardship (1995-2010): Virtual Bombs and Prosthetic Senses 78
Of Bombs and Bodies in the Plutonium Economy 96

Chapter 3: ECONATIONALISMS: FIRST NATIONS IN THE PLUTONIUM ECONOMY 99
Ecologies of Place 101
The New World: 1942/1992 112
Mirrors and Appropriations: The Secret Societies of the Pajarito Plateau 119
Explosive Testing 132
Nuclear Nations: The Sovereignty of Nuclear Waste 144
Econationalisms in the Plutonium Economy 156

Chapter 4: RADIOACTIVE NATION-BUILDING IN NORTHERN NEW MEXICO: A NUCLEAR MAQUILADORA? 160
Radioactive Death Trucks 162
On Invasion and Illegitimacy 179
LANL: A Nuclear Maquiladora? 197
Nuevomexicano Futures in the Plutonium Economy 213

Chapter 5: BACKTALKING TO THE NATIONAL FETISH: THE RISE OF ANTINUCLEAR ACTIVISM IN SANTA FE 215
The Post-Cold War Moment 219
The Psychic Toxicity of Plutonium 228
Anti-antinuclear Activists 237
What Is a "New" Nuclear Weapon? 244
Los Alamos: Ground Zero of the Peace Movement 256

PART II: NATIONAL INSECURITIES 261

Chapter 6: LIE DETECTORS: ON SECRECTS AND HYPERSECURITY IN LOS ALAMOS 263
What Is a Nuclear Secret? 265
On Racial Profiling 272
Hypersecurity Measures 278
The "New Normal" 283

Chapter 7: MUTANT ECOLOGIES: RADIOACTIVE LIFE IN POST-COLD WAR NEW MEXICO 289
Of Men and Ants 293
Nuclear Test Subjects 302
The Wildlife/Sacrifice Zone 311
Environmental Sentinels, or the Militarization of the Honey Bee 316
The Social Logics of Mutation 324

Chapter 8: EPILOGUE: THE NUCLEAR BORDERLANDS 328

Notes 339
References 375
Index 413

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