Archive | December, 2014

Nuclear Fallout on the American History Too! Podcast

23 Dec

Magazine Fallout Shelter Rendering ( coverpage )As part of our ongoing podcast series, Mark and I recently recorded an episode on the origins, importance, and public awareness (and lack thereof) of nuclear fallout in the 1940s and 50s.

In the podcast, we managed to cover a fair bit of ground. We talked about the origins of ‘the bomb’ (wherein I waffle about Einstein, Frisch, Peirels, etc), the differences between the A-bomb and the H-bomb, the 1954 Castle Bravo test, the Strath report, and then Mark cuts me off as I hit my stride about The War Game! To be fair, he’s much better at keeping the podcast running to time than I am!

It was fun to talk about something that is within my specialism, having previously discussed colonial-era slavery, Andrew Jackson, and the Gilded Age, amongst other things! As always, if there’s any feedback you have, please do let me know. You can find all of our podcasts on our Podbean website, or you can get them through iTunes.

Teaching the Nuclear Cold War: Week 11, The Final Countdown

12 Dec

The_Final_Countdown_singleThe hectic nature of the end of semester means that this penultimate post about the nuclear Cold War course has been more than a little bit delayed. Apologies for that.

Our final class examined the end of the Cold War and the influence of nuclear arms (and related issues) on the conclusion of nearly five decades of confrontation. Did ‘the atom’ have any influence? In the big scheme of things, did the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty – as an example of arms control – actually do anything to help? I argued (and many students agreed) that the end of the Cold War is in fact even more complicated than the beginning of the Cold War. Disentangling the various threads (no pun intended) is one of the challenges of studying this period.

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