Land of Nuclear Enchantment
A New Mexican History of the Nuclear Weapons Industry
In this thoughtful social history of New Mexico's nuclear industry, Lucie Genay traces the scientific colonization of the state in the twentieth century from the points of view of the local people. Genay focuses on personal experiences in order to give a sense of the upheaval that accompanied the rise of the nuclear era. She gives voice to the Hispanics and Native Americans of the Jémez Plateau, the blue-collar workers of Los Alamos, the miners and residents of the Grants Uranium Belt, and the ranchers and farmers who were affected by the federal appropriation of land in White Sands Missile Range and whose lives were upended by the Trinity test and the US government's reluctance to address the "collateral damage" of the work at the range. Genay reveals the far-reaching implications for the residents as New Mexico acquired a new identity from its embrace of nuclear science.
The history of nuclear energy in New Mexico is filled with dangers, secrets, ironies, and both positive and terrible consequences to the state and its native population. While several observers have focused on key parts of this complex story, historian Lucie Genay has synthesized their work and created a sweeping new analysis of the impact of 'nuclearism' on New Mexico. This is a groundbreaking book of vital importance to both students of the past and policy makers of today.'--Richard Melzer, coauthor of A History of New Mexico Since Statehood
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