AUTHORJohnson, Robert R.
TITLERomancing the Atom: Nuclear Infatuation from the Radium Girls to Fukushima
CITYSanta Barbara, CA
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Available online from ABC-CLIO/Greenwood   (available with fee)

This book examines what the author calls the atomic mindset through a collection of true stories that illustrate the social, cultural, political, individual, and environmental consequences of the human "infatuation with the atom" (p.xiv). There are three sections: investing in the atomic mindset, using the atomic mindset, and confronting the atomic mindset. The first part includes the women who painted radium on watch dials and other devices, uranium mining in the American West, and atomic testing in the Pacific. Incidents involving uranium mining on Navajo lands, experiments with human subjects, and the milling of uranium in Oxford, Ohio make up the second part. The final part contains the reaction of Oxford to the milling operation, the liabilities of nuclear power, and an assessment of the Fukushima disaster. The author’s style reflects his position as a professor of rhetoric and technical communication and his concern over the dangers associated with, as his title describes it, Romancing the Atom.

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