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Plutopia : Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

By: Brown, Kate.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Cary : Oxford University Press, USA, 2013Description: 1 online resource (417 p.).ISBN: 9780199855773.Subject(s): Industrial safety -- Government policy -- Soviet Union -- Case studies | Industrial safety -- Government policy -- United States -- Case studies | Plutonium industry -- Accidents -- Russia (Federation) -- Ozersk (Cheliabinskaia oblast) -- History -- 20th century | Plutonium industry -- Accidents -- Washington (State) -- Richland -- History -- 20th century | Plutonium industry -- Social aspects -- Russia (Federation) -- Ozersk (Cheliabinskaia oblast) -- History -- 20th century | Plutonium industry -- Social aspects -- Washington (State) -- Richland -- History -- 20th century | Working class families -- Russia (Federation) -- Ozersk (Cheliabinskaia oblast) -- History -- 20th century | Working class families -- Washington (State) -- Richland -- History -- 20th centuryGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Plutopia : Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium DisastersDDC classification: 363.17990947 LOC classification: HD9539.P583.S62 2013Online resources: Click here to view this ebook. Summary: While many transnational histories of the nuclear arms race have been written, Kate Brown provides the first definitive account of the great plutonium disasters of the United States and the Soviet Union. In Plutopia, Brown draws on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the extraordinary stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia-the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias--communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Fully employed and medically monito
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While many transnational histories of the nuclear arms race have been written, Kate Brown provides the first definitive account of the great plutonium disasters of the United States and the Soviet Union. In Plutopia, Brown draws on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the extraordinary stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia-the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias--communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Fully employed and medically monito

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Covering roughly 60 years, beginning in the early 1940s, historian Brown (Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County) examines the histories of Richland, Washington, and Ozersk, USSR, and the nature and impact of the plutonium plants there (Hanford and Maiak, respectively) in this brilliant comparative history. Using an impressive array of US and Soviet archival sources and a series of profoundly effective and affecting interviews, the author focuses on how the two plants and communities actually mirrored each other: regimentation, separation of scientists and managers from workers, secrecy, and a conscious attempt to downplay or deny safety hazards that clearly existed. Although this judicious history examines all sides of a controversial issue, Brown concludes that many of the higher-ups involved were culpable, but she makes her case fairly. Most impressive is how Brown involves readers in the interview process. She describes in personal detail her meetings with many who worked in the plants and lived in the towns. Some more conventional and traditional historians may have "problems" with such an approach, but this reviewer, with 50 years of teaching history behind him, would simply ask doubters to read the final chapter of this compelling and beautifully written work. Summing Up: Essential. It belongs in all but the smallest and cash-strapped libraries. A. O. Edmonds Ball State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Kate Brown is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland, winner of the American Historical Association's George Louis Beer Prize. A 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, her work has also appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, American Historical Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Harper's Magazine Online.

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