AUTHORUdall, Stewart L.
TITLEThe Myths of August: A Personal Exploration of Our Tragic Cold War Affair with the Atom
PUBLISHERPantheon Books
CITYNew York, NY

This controversial exploration of America’s atomic experiments presents the case that the government knowingly exposed millions of citizens to toxic radiation, and documents the steps in that process. Udall, a longtime lawyer for victims of radiation exposure, begins the book with a discussion of the Manhattan Project and the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The book then argues how the Cold War led to a subversion of the American tradition of democratic decision making, and how radioactive waste led to disease and death in many instances. The last few chapters of the book consist of the author’s reflections on the Cold War and the ethics of the nuclear era. An excellent chapter contrasts physicists Edward Teller and Andrei Sakharov, the American and Soviet scientists who helped develop the hydrogen bomb.

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