Survival City: Adventures among the Ruins of Atomic America

Paperback | April 15, 2010

byTom Vanderbilt

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On the road to Survival City, Tom Vanderbilt maps the visible and invisible legacies of the cold war, exhuming the blueprints for the apocalypse we once envisioned and chronicling a time when we all lived at ground zero. In this road trip among ruined missile silos, atomic storage bunkers, and secret test sites, a lost battleground emerges amid the architecture of the 1950s, accompanied by Walter Cotten’s stunning photographs. Survival City looks deep into the national soul, unearthing the dreams and fears that drove us during the latter half of the twentieth century.

“A crucial and dazzling book, masterful, and for me at least, intoxicating.”—Dave Eggers


“A genuinely engaging book, perhaps because [Vanderbilt] is skillful at conveying his own sense of engagement to the reader.”—Los Angeles Times


“A retracing of Dr. Strangelove as ordinary life.”—Greil Marcus, Bookforum

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On the road to Survival City, Tom Vanderbilt maps the visible and invisible legacies of the cold war, exhuming the blueprints for the apocalypse we once envisioned and chronicling a time when we all lived at ground zero. In this road trip among ruined missile silos, atomic storage bunkers, and secret test sites, a lost battleground eme...

Tom Vanderbilt is the New York Times best-selling author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us). His work on design, technology, science, and culture has appeared in The New York Times Magazine,The Nation, the London Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and others. 

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:April 15, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226846946

ISBN - 13:9780226846941

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

Looking for Dr. Strangelove: The Cold War as Archaeology

CHAPTER 1

Dead City: The Metropolis Targeted

CHAPTER 2

Survival City: This is Only a Test

CHAPTER 3

The Domestication of Doomsday:

New Buildings for the Perilous Atomic Age

CHAPTER 4

The Underground City:

The Architecture of Disappearance

CHAPTER 5

Twentieth-Century Castles: 

Missile Silos in the Heartland

CHAPTER 6

The Secret Landscape: Some Cold War Traces

POSTSCRIPT

September 11, 2001 

NOTES

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS