©2012 Robert R Johnson



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In 1945, Albert Einstein said, "The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking … the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind." This statement seems more valid today than ever.

Romancing the Atom: Nuclear Infatuation from the Radium Girls to Fukushima presents compelling moments that clearly depict the folly and shortsightedness of our "atomic mindset" and shed light upon current issues of nuclear power, waste disposal, and weapons development.

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From the Author

I started this project about three years ago maybe a little more, but really it started a long time before that. I was living in Ohio and it was discovered that there was a uranium milling site in the middle of Oxford. When this was discovered there was a lot of panic and a lot of discovery that went on to put the pieces together as to why an active uranium site had been built in the 1950s and not disclosed to the town until the 1990s.

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Blast from the Past

Less than one year after the end of WW II, the American government made plans to test two atomic bombs that would be more powerful than those dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Operation Crossroads it was called. The purpose was to test their destructive power.

But there was also great interest in learning more about the effects of radiation on things inanimate and animate.

start a discussion

There are many topics and discussion items embedded into Romancing the Atom: Nuclear Infatuation from the Radium Girls to Fukushima. Lead a discussion in your community or classroom by viewing the Extras available on www.romancingtheatom.com.

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Also featured in


the believer

An excerpt published in September 2010. "For the Love of Pretty Things" by Robert R. Johnson, The Radium Girls and "Dying for Science." Read more.

New Atlantis

The New Atlantis

Featured in the summer 2009 issue, Romancing the Atom excerpt Uranium Prospecting, Once and Again is available online. Read more.



Download and print the Romancing the Atom fact sheet directly from abc-clio.com.