The Nuclear Age in Popular Media: A Transnational History, 1945-1965

Hardcover | November 13, 2012

EditorDick van Lente

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Among the many technical innovations that were introduced after World War II, none left as strong an impression on the public as the atom bombs that destroyed two Japanese cities in August 1945. People spoke of the 'atomic age' that had now begun, as if this technological innovation would, all by itself, shape a new world. The atomic age was described as one that might soon end in the destruction of human civilization, but from the beginning, utopian images were attached to it as well. Nuclear technology offered the promise of applications in medicine, agriculture, and engineering, and nuclear power could theoretically provide an unlimited supply of energy. This book demonstrates and attempts to explain how the popular media represented nuclear power, in its military and non-military forms. It focuses on the first two decades of the 'atomic age,' when national governments, military strategists, scientists, and the public attempted to come to terms with a technology that so drastically seemed to change the prospects for the future. Popular magazines, comics, newspapers, public exhibitions from across the world are examined to compare representations of nuclear power in different countries and to trace divergences, convergences, and exchanges.

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Among the many technical innovations that were introduced after World War II, none left as strong an impression on the public as the atom bombs that destroyed two Japanese cities in August 1945. People spoke of the 'atomic age' that had now begun, as if this technological innovation would, all by itself, shape a new world. The atomic a...

Dick van Lente is an associate professor of History at Erasmus Universiteit, Rotterdam.

other books by Dick van Lente

The Nuclear Age in Popular Media: A Transnational History, 1945–1965
The Nuclear Age in Popular Media: A Transnational Histo...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:292 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.69 inPublished:November 13, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230340903

ISBN - 13:9780230340909

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Table of Contents

Introduction: a Transnational History of Popular Images and Narratives of Nuclear Technologies in the First Two Post-war Decades; D.van Lente
Shaping the Soviet Experience of the Atomic Age: Nuclear Topics in Ogonyok, 1945-1965; S.D.Schmid
'To See . . . Things Dangerous to Come to': Life Magazine and the Atomic Age in the United States, 1945-1965; S.C.Zeman
Learning from War: Media Coverage of the Nuclear Age in the Two Germanies; D.L.Augustine
'Dawn - Or Dusk?': Britain's Picture Post Confronts Nuclear Energy; C.Laucht
Nuclear Power, World Politics, and a Small Nation: Narratives and Counter-narratives in the Netherlands; D.van Lente
Nuclear Power Plants in 'the Only A-bombed Country': Images of Nuclear Power and Nation's Changing Self-portrait in Post-war Japan; H.Utsumi
Promises of Indian Modernity: Representations of Nuclear Technology in the Illustrated Weekly of India; H-J.Bieber
Conclusion: One World, Two Worlds, Many Worlds?; D.Augustine & D.van Lente


Editorial Reviews

"The Nuclear Age in Popular Media successfully shows the need to think critically about the contents and flows of discourses on nuclear technology from comparative and transnational perspectives that are often overlooked. This book should become required reading for scholars in the fields of rhetoric, media studies, and history as well as science, technology, and society." - International Journal of Communication "[I]n nine crisply written and surprisingly coherent chapters, van Lente and expert contributors offer an erudite account of this subject over the critical 20 years from 1945 to 1965, which should appeal to a wider audience than those readers likely to find their way to this work . . . This book, with its haunting cover illustration, makes fascinating reading. Recommended." - CHOICE