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Echoes of the Hiroshima Bomb in St. Louis

Title Details

Pages: 218

Illustrations: 1 b&w image

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 12/01/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6317-2

List Price: $20.95


Pub Date: 12/01/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6930-3

List Price: $20.95


Pub Date: 12/01/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6318-9

List Price: $20.95


Pub Date: 12/01/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6316-5

List Price: $120.95


Echoes of the Hiroshima Bomb in St. Louis

A look at the long-term health and socioeconomic tolls of the Manhattan Project in America’s Heartland

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  • Awards

Nuked recounts the long-term effects of radiological exposure in St. Louis, Missouri—the city that refined uranium for the first self- sustaining nuclear reaction and the first atomic bomb. As part of the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, the refining created an enormous amount of radioactive waste that increased as more nuclear weapons were produced and stockpiled for the Cold War.

Unfortunately, government officials deposited the waste on open land next to the municipal airport. An adjacent creek transported radionuclides downstream to the Missouri River, thereby contaminating St. Louis’s northern suburbs. Amid official assurances of safety, residents were unaware of the risks. The resulting public health crisis continues today with cleanup operations expected to last through the year 2038.

Morice attributes the crisis to several factors. They include a minimal concern for land pollution; cutting corners to win the war; new homebuilding practices that spread radioactive dirt; insufficient reporting mechanisms for cancer; and a fragmented government that failed to respond to regional problems.

Nuked explores the painful and disturbing legacy of the atomic age in the suburbs of St. Louis. . . . The story of what happened there adds an important—and largely overlooked—dimension to the history of the atomic age.

—Natasha Zaretsky, author of Radiation Nation: Three Mile Island and the Political Transformation of the 1970s

An almost totally unknown history of one aspect of the Manhattan Project . . . It is about official secrecy and the slow uncovering of the secrets by different groups over quite a long period of time, made all the more powerful by the fact that the author’s own family’s tragic personal histories are bound up with the radioactive contamination.

—Janet Farrell Brodie, author of The Trinity Site National Historic Landmark: A History

Morice pushes the story further, looking at how local government fragmentation played a role in limiting the response, how building and environmental practices at the time contributed, and how government and corporate secrecy and lies kept the public in the dark.

—Roland Klose, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In the absence of such hard-to-grasp quantities as 580 square miles, 54 million gallons, and $528 billion, Nuked provides a more intimate human portrait.

—John M. Findlay, Missouri Historical Review

Linda Morice's Nuked underscores the urgency of addressing those issues, giving readers a searing glimpse into the ongoing, decades-long crisis in Missouri, filling an important gap in US nuclear history.

—Caroline R. Peyton, Environmental History


A-List Award for History, St. Louis Magazine

About the Author/Editor

LINDA C. MORICE is professor emerita of educational leadership at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Her publications include many articles in academic journals and three books: Flora White: In the Vanguard of Gender Equity; Coordinate Colleges for American Women: A Convergence of Interests, 1947–78; and a coedited volume, Life Stories: Exploring Issues in Educational History through Biography.