AUTHORTitus, A. Costandina
TITLEBombs in the Backyard: Atomic Testing and American Politics
PUBLISHERUniversity of Nevada Press

Focused primarily on the Nevada Test Site, this book addresses two major themes associated with nuclear testing by the United States: (1) Continuity of United States government policy in keeping all aspects of the nuclear weapons program, including testing, secret from its origins to the present day; the author maintains that Congress allowed the military to control all decisions involving nuclear weapons. (2) The book emphasizes that the federal government was not alone in underestimating the dangers involved with testing nuclear weapons by stating that local press and the state government of Nevada endorsed the testing program in the 1950s and early 1960s. The author reviews the history of policies for testing nuclear weapons from the Manhattan Project through the early years of the post-Cold War era. She addresses the issues of the effects of radiation from the tests on the surrounding population, the governments' efforts to build support for testing, and the public's changing reactions to testing and perceptions of radiation, as well as judicial and legislative responses to compensation of alleged victims of nuclear testing. The book contains extensive footnotes and a solid bibliography. It is of interest to those concerned with nuclear politics.

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