AUTHORKohlhoff, Dean W.
TITLEAmchitka and the Bomb: Nuclear Testing in Alaska
PUBLISHERUniversity of Washington Press
CITYSeattle, WA

This book describes in detail the history and politics of the three Cold War nuclear weapon tests on Amchitka, an island in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. It starts with a brief history of the Aleutian Islands, including Amchitka, which were designated a wildlife refuge before World War II, and became a battle zone during that war. During the early years of the Cold War, conservationists and the military struggled for control of the islands, and in the 1950s, a plan for atomic bomb testing there was abandoned. However, in 1965, 1969, and 1971 underground nuclear tests occurred on the island, code named Project Long Shot, Shot Milrow, and Shot Cannikin. The 1971 five-megaton blast was the largest ever conducted underground by any country. With each blast larger than the last, Canadian and Alaskan residents grew more concerned for their safety and the safety of nearby wildlife and marine animals, and opposition strengthened. The island again became part of the wildlife refuge system in 1976. The book is well researched, and includes extensive notes.

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