AUTHORRose, Kenneth D.
TITLEOne Nation Underground: The Fallout Shelter in American Culture
PUBLISHERNew York University
CITYNew York, NY

This book examines the idea of civil defense in the nuclear age, focusing mainly on the fallout shelter debate in the United States that followed the Berlin crisis in 1961. The author describes efforts at civil defense in the 1950s as well as the U.S. nuclear strategy at that time. He also examines apocalyptic writing from that period and notes how that writing influenced the fallout shelter debate. He then explores the idea of “shelter morality” and the debate that raged over that topic in the early 1960s. In a shift from a focus on individual shelters, one chapter examines the communal shelters built by the government, businesses, and schools at the time. The author concludes by exploring the many reasons that United States government decided not to have extensive fallout shelters. In the postscript, the author describes efforts for civil defense after the 1960s, especially the efforts of President Reagan in the 1980s. Numerous photographs of period posters and newspaper articles are included in the book.

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