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Atomic Age America

By Martin V Melosi

Published by Pearson Higher Education

Published Date: Nov 4, 2012


Examines atomic energy as a lens to 20th and 21st-century America.


Atomic Age America looks at the broad influence of atomic energy–focusing particularly on nuclear weapons and nuclear power–on the lives of Americans within a world context. The text examines the social, political, diplomatic, environmental, and technical impacts of atomic energy on the 20th and 21st centuries, with a look back to the origins of atomic theory.


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book readers will be able to:

  • Develop a background in the origins of atomic theory and atomic science
  • View nuclear technologies within the historical context in which they were created and used
  • Understand how atomic energy helped frame the second half of the 20th century, and how it continues to influence in the 21st


Table of Contents

Introduction: A Most Controversial Technology         


Chapter 1 A Community of Scientists: Atomic Theory over the Centuries                                 

Chapter 2 Government Mobilizes the Atom: War, Big Science, and the Manhattan Project

Chapter 3 Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Aftermath: From Total War to Cold War

Chapter 4 The Cold War and Atomic Diplomacy: Deterrence, Espionage, and the Super    

Chapter 5 Invincible to Vulnerable in the Age of Anxiety: Massive Retaliation, Fallout, and the Sputnik Crisis                    

Chapter 6 To the Brink: The Military-Industrial Complex, the Berlin and Cuban Crises, and the Lingering Arms Race

Chapter 7 Too Cheap to Meter, Too Tempting to Ignore: Peaceful Uses of the Atom                                                                                                  

Chapter 8 Nuclear Power v. The Environment: The Bandwagon Market, Reactor Safety, and the Energy Crisis

Chapter 9 The Post-TMI World, Chernobyl, and the Future of Nuclear Power        

Chapter 10 Pax Atomica—or Pox Atomica--at the End of the Cold War 

Chapter 11 Proliferation, Terrorism, and Climate Change: The Atom in the 21st Century                                                           


Conclusion: From Hiroshima to Fukushima       


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ISBN-13: 978-0-205-88773-6

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ISBN-10: 0-205-74254-8

ISBN-13: 978-0-205-74254-7

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