The age of radiance: the epic rise and dramatic fall of the Atomic Era

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Pub. Date:
2014.
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English
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A riveting narrative of the Atomic Age--from x-rays and Marie Curie to the Nevada Test Site and the 2011 meltdown in Japan--written by the prizewinning and bestselling author of Rocket Men . From the New York Times bestselling author of Rocket Men and the award-winning biographer of Thomas Paine comes the first complete history of the Atomic Age, a brilliant, magisterial account of the men and women who uncovered the secrets of the nucleus, brought its power to America, and ignited the twentieth century. When Marie Curie, Enrico Fermi, and Edward Teller forged the science of radioactivity, they created a revolution that arced from the end of the nineteenth century, through the course of World War II and the Cold War of superpower brinksmanship, to our own twenty-first-century confrontation with the dangers of nuclear power and proliferation--a history of paradox, miracle, and nightmare. While nuclear science improves our everyday lives--from medicine to microwave technology--radiation's invisible powers can trigger cancer and cellular mayhem. Writing with a biographer's passion, Craig Nelson unlocks one of the great mysteries of the universe in a work that is tragic, triumphant, and above all, fascinating. From the discovery of X-rays in the 1890s, through the birth of nuclear power in an abandoned Chicago football stadium, to the bomb builders of Los Alamos and the apocalyptic Dr. Strangelove era, Nelson illuminates a pageant of fascinating historical figures: Marie and Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Franklin Roosevelt, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Harry Truman, Curtis LeMay, John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Ronald Reagan, and Mikhail Gorbachev, among others. He reveals how brilliant Jewish scientists fleeing Hitler transformed America from a nation that created lightbulbs and telephones into one that split atoms; how the most grotesque weapon ever invented could realize Alfred Nobel's lifelong dream of global peace; and how, in our time, emergency workers and low-level utility employees fought to contain run-amok nuclear reactors while wondering if they would live or die. Radiance defies our common-sense views of nature, with its staggering amounts of energy flowing from seemingly inert rock and matter pulsing in half-lives that transforms into other states over the course of decades or in the blink of an eye. Radiation is as scary a word as cancer, but it's the power that keeps our planet warm, as well as the force behind earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, and so organic to all life that even our own human bodies are radioactive. By tracing mankind's complicated relationship with the dangerous energy it discovered and unleashed, Nelson reveals how atomic power and radiation are indivisible from our everyday lives. Brilliantly told and masterfully crafted, The Age of Radiance provides a new understanding of a misunderstood epoch in history and restores to prominence the forgotten heroes and heroines who have changed all of our lives for better and for worse. It confirms Craig Nelson's position as one of the most lively and skillful popular historians writing today.
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ISBN:
9781451660432
145166043
9781451660456
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 93607acc-8ace-5e21-06ec-d5c0642afc4f
Grouping Title age of radiance the epic rise and dramatic fall of the atomic era
Grouping Author nelson craig
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-25 22:58:20PM
Last Indexed 2018-09-26 00:04:58AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
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author Craig Nelson
author_display Nelson, Craig
available_at_catalog Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Bellevue - Adult Non-Fiction, Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description "A riveting narrative of the Atomic Age--from x-rays and Marie Curie to the Nevada Test Site and the 2011 meltdown in Japan--written by the prizewinning and bestselling author of Rocket Men. Radiation is a complex and paradoxical concept: staggering amounts of energy flow from seemingly inert rock and that energy is both useful and dangerous. While nuclear energy affects our everyday lives--from nuclear medicine and food irradiation to microwave technology--its invisible rays trigger biological damage, birth defects, and cellular mayhem. Written with a biographer's passion, Craig Nelson unlocks one of the great mysteries of the universe in a work that is both tragic and triumphant. From the end of the nineteenth century through the use of the atomic bomb in World War II to the twenty-first century's confrontation with the dangers of nuclear power, Nelson illuminates a pageant of fascinating historical figures: Enrico Fermi, Marie and Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, FDR, Robert Oppenheimer, and Ronald Reagan, among others. He reveals many little-known details, including how Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler transformed America from a country that created light bulbs and telephones into one that split atoms; how the most grotesque weapon ever invented could realize Alfred Nobel's lifelong dream of global peace; how emergency workers and low-level utility employees fought to contain a run-amok nuclear reactor, while wondering if they would live or die. Brilliantly fascinating and remarkably accessible, The Age of Radiance traces mankind's complicated and difficult relationship with the dangerous power it discovered and made part of civilization"--
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 539.709 N4254a
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Bellevue, Bellevue Kids, Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9781451660432
publishDate 2014
record_details ils:CARL0000430992|Book|Books|First Scribner hardcover edition.|English|Scribner,|2014.|437 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm., overdrive:79a1a2c0-d28b-4abf-bd8b-eade3293362b|eBook|eBook||English|Scribner|2014|
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subject_facet Nuclear energy -- History, Nuclear weapons -- History, Radiation -- History, Radioactivity -- History
title_display The age of radiance : the epic rise and dramatic fall of the Atomic Era
title_full The Age of Radiance The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era, The age of radiance : the epic rise and dramatic fall of the Atomic Era / Craig Nelson
title_short The age of radiance :
title_sub the epic rise and dramatic fall of the Atomic Era
topic_facet History, Nonfiction, Nuclear energy, Nuclear weapons, Radiation, Radioactivity, Science