AUTHORSwedin, Eric G.
TITLESurvive the Bomb: The Radioactive Citizen's Guide to Nuclear Survival
CITYMinneapolis, MN

This work depicts the anxiety about nuclear war that was prevalent in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. In a useful combination of images, official civil defense documents, and the author’s commentary, it presents a fascinating look at the society of the early Atomic Age. The first of four sections focuses on American reactions to the Soviet detonation of an atomic weapon in 1949. It includes information about radiation detection and protection as well as directions given to civil defense organizations. The second part addresses the public’s reaction to the accelerating nuclear arms race, which included the development of public and individual fallout shelters as well as plans for mass evacuation of urban areas. The final section explains the concept of mutually assured destruction (MAD) and contains a 1979 Soviet nuclear attack scenario, an excerpt from a larger evaluation of the effects of nuclear war as authored by the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment. In closing, the author considers how applicable Cold War civil defense measures might be in the event of a nuclear terrorist attack.

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