The Atomic Times: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground [NOOK Book]

Overview

Catch-22 with radiation.
Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove.
Except it really happened.
Operation Redwing, the biggest and baddest of America's atmospheric nuclear weapons test regimes, mixed saber rattling with mad science, while overlooking the cataclysmic human, geopolitical and ecological effects. But ...
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The Atomic Times: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground

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Overview

Catch-22 with radiation.
Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove.
Except it really happened.
Operation Redwing, the biggest and baddest of America's atmospheric nuclear weapons test regimes, mixed saber rattling with mad science, while overlooking the cataclysmic human, geopolitical and ecological effects. But mostly, it just messed with guys' heads.
Major Maxwell, who put Safety First, Second and Third. Except when he didn't.
Berko, the wise-cracking Brooklyn Dodgers fan forced to cope with the H-bomb and his mother's cookies.
Tony, who thought military spit and polish plus uncompromising will power made him an exception.
Carl Duncan, who clung to his girlfriend's photos and a dangerous secret.
Major Vanish, who did just that.
In THE ATOMIC TIMES, Michael Harris welcomes readers into the U.S. Army's nuclear family where the f-words were fallout and fireball. In a distinctive narrative voice, Harris describes his H-bomb year with unforgettable imagery and insight into the ways isolation and isotopes change men for better--and for worse.
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Editorial Reviews

member of the Council on Foreign Relations - John G. Stoessinger winner of the Bancroft Prize for Inernational Affairs
"One of the best books I've ever read, combining elements of Catch 22 and Dr. Strangelove in a memoir both hilarious and tragic. A 'must' read, destined to become a classic." --John G. Stoessinger, Ph.D. (Harvard), winner of the Bancroft Prize for Inernational Affairs, member of the Council on Foreign Relations
Dr. Kissinger - Henry Kissinger
"A gripping memoir leavened by humor, loyalty and pride of accomplishment. A tribute to the resilience, courage and patriotism of the American soldier."
Publisher's Weekly - Publisher's Weekly Publisher's Weekly
"Harris uses a chatty, dead-pan voice that highlights the horrifying absurdity of life on the island: the use of Geiger counters to monitor scrambled eggs' radiation level, three-eyed fish swimming in the lagoon, corroded, permanently open windows that fail to keep out the radioactive fall-out and men whose toenails glow in the dark. An entertaining read in the bloodline of Catch-22, Harris achieves the oddest of victories: a funny, optimistic story about the H-bomb." --Publisher's Weekly
Senator Schumer - Senator Charles Schumer Senator Charles Schumer
"Harris has seamlessly presented a colorful cast of characters, and a shockingly honest depiction of his experience. The effect is at once deeply personal and politically profound." --Senator Charles Schumer
Booklist - Booklist Booklist
"Harris' frank and disturbing descriptions of the criminally irresponsible proceedings on Eniwetok, and the physical and mental pain he and others endured, constitute shocking additions to atomic history. Amazingly enough, given his ordeal, Harris remains healthy." --Booklist
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940016660400
  • Publisher: Ruth Harris Books
  • Publication date: 4/3/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 263
  • Sales rank: 13,546
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Harris was a public relations executive at CBS for many years, eleven of them on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Michael was the first person to greet the Beatles on their arrival in the United States and is the author of the national bestseller, ALWAYS ON SUNDAY:  An Inside View of Ed Sullivan, the Beatles, Elvis, Sinatra and Ed’s Other Guests.
His highly acclaimed memoir, THE ATOMIC TIMES:  My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground, is based on a more fraught experience, the 1955 U.S. H-Bomb tests, and has been called Catch-22 with radiation!  Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove! “A gripping memoir leavened by humor, loyalty and pride of accomplishment. A tribute to the resilience, courage and patriotism of the American soldier.” Henry Kissinger
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Things that make you go YYYIIIKKKES!

    With all the information we know today in regards to radiation exposure it does seem ludicrous that such reckless testing was done with the H bomb. Harris' interesting memoir chronicles his days spent on the Pacific Proving Ground in 1955 and depicts the stress of those who were stationed on a small island in the Atolls. Like the author, I would've been horrified to hear that a co-workers toenails were glowing in the dark,to swim with three eyed fish, or to stand outside in view of a mushroom cloud. Although I found the "guy" talk a little too coarse for my taste and was put off by some of the way the guys related to and "tortured" each other, the story kept me quite interested.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    Great read!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this look at one man's unique time in the army during the cold war. Very interesting look at how a draft based army can lead to a lack of concern for the troop's well being.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2013

    Have you ever been glad that nuclear war was averted? Nevermind,

    Have you ever been glad that nuclear war was averted? Nevermind, because it wasn't. In the 1950s we detonated nuclear weapons willy nilly and made people hang out in the fallout.

    The Atomic Times: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground by Michael Harris is a gripping memoir. His narrative about his year in Eniwetok drags the reader through an experience that is surreal, malicious, and as dark as a thermonuclear explosion is unbearably bright.

    I was immediately attracted to this book because the Cold War and nuclear testing have always fascinated me. As a little girl I used to lay awake at night and worry about nuclear war. The fact is it happened before I was even born. My review of Trinity: The Atomic Bomb Movie explains my thoughts on this era pretty well. In Trinity I noticed the servicemen in the Pacific. There are films of them working, at the beach, and witnessing detonations. I always wondered what their experience was like. How many had died of cancer before their time?

    In The Atomic Times, Michael Harris provides the answers to all my questions and more. His horrific account of twelve months in a realm where "censorship is self imposed" locks the reader in the concrete hell of faggot-hunting MPs, insane commanding officers, and mutated fish.

    Oh, and the enlisted men didn't get goggles when they had to stand in formation and await the megaton dawn. They got to duck and cover.

    Michael Harris is a skilled writer who delivered a read I couldn't put down. I look forward to reading more of his work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    Brilliant!!!

    Brilliant!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    Very good book!

    Amazing how callous the military can be about the welfare of its own rank & file. That was the most shocking part of the book. Only the officers got protective eyewear and everyone else was just told to stand and "turn away" from the atomic testing blasts? Are they kidding? That was unconscionable. These were real people, fellow Americans, young American soldiers!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Almost as good as being there!

    Reading this book is the next best thing to being there, and since nobody in their right mind would have wanted to be there (catch-22?), then read the book. I can't be as eloquent as those who've sang it's praises before me, so I won't try. My philosophy is simple: if it's good, tell someone else. If you like it, do the same.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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