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eBook Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future
Publisher:  Rowman & Littlefield
Original Publisher:  Rowman & Littlefield
Published:  2010
Language:  English
Pages:   291

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ISBN: 9780739135587

About the Book -- Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future

From the dawn of the atomic age, art and popular culture have played an essential role interpreting nuclear issues to the public and investigating the implications of nuclear weapons to the future of human civilization. Political and social forces often seemed paralyzed in thinking beyond the advent of nuclear weapons and articulating a creative response to the dilemma posed by this apocalyptic technology. Art and popular culture are uniquely suited to grapple with the implications of the bomb and the disruptions in the continuity of traditional narratives about the human future endemic to the atomic age.

Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future explores the diversity of visions evoked in American and Japanese society by the mushroom cloud hanging over the future of humanity during the last half of the twentieth century. It presents historical scholarship on art and popular culture alongside the work of artists responding to the bomb, as well as artists discussing their own work.

From the effect of nuclear testing on sci-fi movies during the mid-fifties in both the U.S. and Japan, to the socially engaged visual discussion about power embodied in Japanese manga, Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future takes readers into unexpected territory.

About the Book


Preface: Hiroshima Story

Introduction: Filling the Hole in the Future

1. Fetch Lights and Grocery Lists: Metaphors and Nuclear Weapons
2. from Critical Assembly, Poems
3. Robots, A-Bombs, and War: Cultural Meanings of Science and Technology in Japan Around World War Two
4. The Day the Sun Was Lost, Manga
5. The Summer You Can't Go Back To, Manga
6. "The Buck Stops Here": Hiroshima Revisionism in the Truman Years
7. Godzilla and the Bravo Shot: Who Created and Killed the Monster?
8. Thank you Mr. Avedon
9. Target Earth: The Atomic Bomb and the Whole Earth
10. Nuclear Culture
11. Nuclear Fear 19872007: Has Anything Changed? Has Everything Changed?


Filling the hole in the nuclear future: art and popular culture respond to the bomb, ed. by Robert Jacobs. Lexington Books, 2010. 276p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780739135563; ISBN 9780739135570 pbk. Reviewed in 2010oct CHOICE.

The Hiroshima Peace Institute funded this collection, which comprises an introduction by Jacobs (American cultural and social history, Hiroshima City Univ., Japan), a foreword by Tom Engelhardt (author of Unforgettable Fire: Pictures Drawn by Atomic Bomb Survivors, 1979), and 11 chapters that include analytic essays, poetry, photographs, and manga. The contributors are US and Japanese citizens, and the book's unifying themes are, first, attempts by artists and scholars to understand the meaning of the annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and, second, their efforts to assess the implications of nuclear weapons for the future of humanity. Memorable contributions include John Canady's rendering of the musings of nuclear physicists, like Albert Einstein, through poetry; Minoru Maeda's manga, a touching re-creation of the youth his father lost in Hiroshima in August 1945; and Carole Gallagher's discussion of the hostility she encountered in Utah, during the seven years she photographed downwind victims of 1950s nuclear testing in the Nevada desert (photographs published as American Ground Zero, 1993). Also noteworthy are Judy Hiramoto's photographs of mixed-media presentations, including "Oppenheimer's Sink" (Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project, once confessed that physicists had "blood on their hands").

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- S. G. Rabe, University of Texas at Dallas

Copyright 2013 American Library Association

Lively and thought-provoking. A nice mix of nationalities, of artists and scholars, of prose and poetry and artwork, of demonstration and oral history and analysis.

--- Richard H. Minear, University of Massachusetts Amherst

These sobering yet very readable essays from Japanese and American scholars, activists, and cultural creators explore a fascinating array of artistic and popular-cultural responses to the atomic bomb, the Cold War nuclear arms race, and the proliferation threats that dominate today's headlines.

--- Paul S. Boyer, author of By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age

This reader found much to think about in this volume.

--- Public Affairs, June 2011


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