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Journal of American History
The National Labs is a fine addition to this extensive and sophisticated literature. It works best as a synthesis of previous arguments about the role of the weapons labs in recent American history and as a vehicle for understanding the relationship between American science and the modern federal establishment. Peter J. Westwick coins a new term, systemicity, as a unifying theme in this study, in the process emphasizing his contention that these facilities may only be understood as a diverse collection unified by a common goal and head but with significant centrifugal tendencies
The National Labs makes an important contribution to knowledge about the evolution of this set of research institutions between 1947, when the AEC began operation, and 1974, when the DOE took over responsibility for overseeing them
Westwick's synthesis is a valuable entrée into how these scientific institutions both altered and reflected the values of the United States during the Cold War.
— Roger D. Launius