"We Will All Go Together When We Go" : Civil Defense, Nuclear Consciousness, and American Anxieties in the Early Nuclear Age
McKnight, Ian J.
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The author sets out to define, identify, and examine the ways in which nuclear consciousness manifested itself in the lives of ordinary Americans in the early days of nuclear weapons, beginning with the attacks on Japan at the end of the World War II and ending with the national fallout shelter mania following the Berlin Crisis in 1961. Rather than the top-down approach taken by most scholars of the nuclear age, the author takes a bottom-up perspective where possible, examining culture, public opinion, and individual decision-making by ordinary Americans in the earliest years of the nuclear era. Any history of life in the nuclear world requires some regard for a broader narrative of nuclear development in terms of powerful individuals and the state, and that story affected ordinary people far more than it was affected by them. An understanding of the stories of individual people in the context of this nuclear age is just as important, and it is among perfectly ordinary Americans that this story begins.
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