The Atomic Bomb and American Society: New Perspectives

Overview

Drawing on the latest research on the atomic bomb and its history, the contributors to this provocative collection of eighteen essays set out to answer two key questions: First, how did the atomic bomb,  a product of unprecedented technological innovation, rapid industrial-scale manufacturing, and unparalleled military deployment shape U.S. foreign policy, the communities of workers who produced it, and society as a whole? And second, how has American society's perception that the the bomb is a means of ...

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Overview

Drawing on the latest research on the atomic bomb and its history, the contributors to this provocative collection of eighteen essays set out to answer two key questions: First, how did the atomic bomb,  a product of unprecedented technological innovation, rapid industrial-scale manufacturing, and unparalleled military deployment shape U.S. foreign policy, the communities of workers who produced it, and society as a whole? And second, how has American society's perception that the the bomb is a means of military deterrence in the Cold War era evolve under the influence of mass media, scientists, public intellectuals,
and even the entertainment industry?

In answering these questions, The Atomic Bomb and American Society sheds light on the collaboration of science and the military in creating the bomb;
the role of women working at Los Alamos; the transformation of nuclear physicists into public intellectuals as the reality of the bomb came into widespread consciousness; the revolutionary change in military strategy following the invention of the bomb and the development of Cold War ideology; the image of the bomb that was conveyed in the popular media; and the connection of the bomb to the commemoration of World War II.

As it illuminates the cultural, social, political, environmental, and historical effects of the creation of the atomic bomb, this volume contributes to our understanding of how democratic institutions can coexist with a technology that affects everyone, even if only a few are empowered to manage it.

Rosemary B. Mariner is formerly Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair and Professor of Military Studies for the National War College. She is currently a lecturer in history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

G. Kurt Piehler is associate professor of history and former director of the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Tennessee,
Knoxville, which hosted the conference that formed the basis of this volume.
He is the author of Remembering War the American Way and World War II in the American Soldiers' Lives Series as well as the coeditor, with John Whiteclay Chambers II, of Major Problems in American Military History.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572336483
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 470
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosemary B. Mariner is formerly Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair and Professor of Military Studies for the National War College. She is currently a lecturer in history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

G. Kurt Piehler is associate professor of history and former director of the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Tennessee,
Knoxville, which hosted the conference that formed the basis of this volume.
He is the author of Remembering War the American Way and World War II in the American Soldiers' Lives Series as well as the coeditor, with John Whiteclay Chambers II, of Major Problems in American Military History.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction Rosemary B. Mariner Mariner, Rosemary B.

Pt. I Context of American Culture and the Bomb

Sixty Years and Counting: Nuclear Themes in American Culture, 1945 to the Present Paul S. Boyer Boyer, Paul S. 3

Pt. II Creating and Confronting the Bomb

To Run with the Swift: Vannevar Bush, James Conant, and the Race to the Bomb - How American Science Was Drafted into Wartime Service Peter K. Parides Parides, Peter K. 21

The Manhattan Project Revealed: Local Press Response to the Atomic Bomb Announcements, August-September 1945 George E. Webb Webb, George E. 43

Lost Almost and Caught between the Fences: The Women of Los Alamos, 1943-1945 and Later Mary Anne Schofield Schofield, Mary Anne 65

Over the Radio Yesterday I Heard the Starting of Another War: Women's Wartime Correspondence, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the End of World War II Judy Barrett Litoff Litoff, Judy Barrett 89

Pt. III Containing and Coping with the Bomb

Selling the International Control of Atomic Energy: The Scientists Movement, the Advertising Council, and the Problem of the Public Megan Barnhart Barnhart, Megan 103

Defending the American Way and Containing the Atom: Ideology and U. S. Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy since 1945 Shane J. Maddock Maddock, Shane J. 121

Continuity of Government Measures for Civil Defense during the Cuban Missile Crisis Tracy C. Davis Davis, Tracy C. 153

Mightier than Missiles: The Rhetoric of Civil Defense for Rural American Families, 1950-1970 Jenny Barker Devine Devine, Jenny Barker 185

Expecting the Unexpected: Nuclear Terrorism in 1950s Hollywood Films Robert E. Hunter Hunter, Robert E. 211

Pt. IV Culture and the Bomb

Voicesfrom the Deep: Life and Culture aboard U. S. Navy Nuclear Submarines during the Cold War William David Freeman Freeman, William David 241

Exploding the Strangelove Myth: Cold War Nuclear Weapons Work and the Testing Times of William Ogle Todd A. Hanson Hanson, Todd A. 261

The Early Nuclear Age and Visions of Future War David M. Walker Walker, David M. 285

Oppenheimer and Rabi: American Cold War Physicists as Public Intellectuals Michael A. Day Day, Michael A. 307

"Out in the Open": Popular Representations of Some American Nuclear Weapons in the Early Cold War Christopher John Bright Bright, Christopher John 329

Pt. V Commemorating the Bomb

The Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell Edward W. Lollis Lollis, Edward W. 345

The Challenges of Preserving America's Nuclear Weapons Complex Jason Krupar Krupar, Jason 381

Bibliographical Essay G. Kurt Piehler Piehler, G. Kurt 407

Contributors 427

Index 431

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