Learning to Glow

A Nuclear Reader

John Bradley (Editor)
Paperback ($24.95) Buy
Atomic energy is not only invisible, it has been cloaked in secrecy by government, industry, and the military. Yet for many Americans the effects of radiation have been less than secret. Just ask the radium workers in Ottawa, Illinois, the "downwinders" of Utah, or unsuspecting veterans of the Gulf War. When told from the perspective of ordinary people, nuclear history takes on a much different tone from that of the tranquil voices of authority who always told us we had nothing to fear.

In Learning to Glow, twenty-four essays testify to many of the unsuspected human and environmental costs of atomic science. They show that Americans have paid a terrible price for supposedly "winning" the Cold War--for although the nuclear nightmare may be over, we are still living with nuclear threats every day. Writers such as Scott Russell Sanders, Terry Tempest Williams, and Barbara Kingsolver reveal the psychic and emotional fallout of the Cold War and of subsequent developments in nuclear science. The essays include personal testimonies of what it was like to grow up with family members in nuclear-related jobs; hard-hitting journalism on the health and environmental costs of our nuclear policies and practices; and poignant stories of coming to terms with nuclear power, including contributions by writers who revisit Hiroshima in an attempt to heal the wounds left by the Bomb.

These essays offer an alternative to the official version of nuclear history as told to us by school textbooks, government authorities, and nuclear industry officials. They are stories of and by ordinary people who have suffered the consequences of the decisions made by those in power-stories that have been largely ignored, dismissed, or suppressed. They will challenge readers to re-examine their preconceptions about the way we deal with issues of nuclear arms and radioactive waste because they show that nuclear history does not belong to experts but to us all.

Marilou Awiakta
John Bradley
Jim Carrier
Alison Hawthorne Deming
Mary Dickson
Edward Dougherty
Ray Gonzalez
Karl Grossman
Sonya Huber
Barbara Kingsolver
Valerie Kuletz
Mary Laufer
Kay Mack
Craig McGrath
Bill Mesler
Richard H. Minear
Randy Morris
Mayumi Oda
Catherine Quigg
Richard Rawles
Kenneth Robbins
Scott Russell Sanders
David Seaborg
Terry Tempest Williams
Bill Witherup
Phil Woods

"This anthology will be a wake-up call for those who fail to learn the lessons of history."
Library Journal

"A harrowing collection." —Booklist

"That eerie claustrophobia, the fry-in-a-flash fear that kept Uncle Sam's kids' heads between their knees as the sirens wailed, runs all the way through the 24 essays in Learning to Glow—a collection of intimate, anecdotal comebacks to the Atomic Energy Commission's cynical reassurances that the split atom is our friend." —Rain Taxi
Learning to Glow
339 Pages 6 x 9 x 0.8 Published: 2000 Paperback (9780816519569)

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