Learning to Glow
A Nuclear Reader
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.
Alison Hawthorne Deming
Richard H. Minear
Scott Russell Sanders
Terry Tempest Williams
"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