By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture At the Dawn of the Atomic Age

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Oct 21, 2005 - History - 464 pages
Originally published in 1985, By the Bomb's Early Light is the first book to explore the cultural 'fallout' in America during the early years of the atomic age. Paul Boyer argues that the major aspects of the long-running debates about nuclear armament and disarmament developed and took shape soon after the bombing of Hiroshima.

The book is based on a wide range of sources, including cartoons, opinion polls, radio programs, movies, literature, song lyrics, slang, and interviews with leading opinion-makers of the time. Through these materials, Boyer shows the surprising and profoundly disturbing ways in which the bomb quickly and totally penetrated the fabric of American life, from the chillingly prophetic forecasts of observers like Lewis Mumford to the Hollywood starlet who launched her career as the 'anatomic bomb.'

In a new preface, Boyer discusses recent changes in nuclear politics and attitudes toward the nuclear age.



Overture The WorldGovernment Movement
The Atomic Scientists From BombMakers to Political Sages
Anodyne to Terror Fantasies of a TechnoAtomic Utopia
The Social Implications of Atomic Energy Prophecies and Prescriptions
The Crisis of Morals and Values
Culture and Consciousness in the Early Atomic Era
The End of the Beginning Settling in for the Long Haul
From the HBomb to Star Wars The Continuing Cycles of Activism and Apathy

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About the author (2005)

Paul Boyer is Merle Curti Professor of History and director of the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His books include When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture.

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