AUTHORWeart, Spencer R.
TITLENuclear Fear: A History of Images
PUBLISHERHarvard University Press
CITYCambridge, MA

The book contains much of the same information as histories of atomic and nuclear energy, but Weart presents it in a way that expresses the impact of nuclear energy on human consciousness. The author discusses the harnessing of nuclear energy in the broadest scope, from radiation treatments to nuclear powered submarines. However, his work highlights psychological reactions. Through a repeated meditation on images, he tries to illustrate the primal human fears and urges accompanying the unlocking of nature’s explosive power. The psychological analyses interpret the significance of images such as mushroom clouds, and womb associations with nuclear bombs. The fourth part of the book, called “Suspect Technology”, illustrates the early expression of human fears of apocalypse and radiation through artistic media such as film. The author handles complex issues with an exemplary writing style.

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