Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Bracing for Armageddon – Why Civil Defense Never Worked - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bracing for Armageddon: Why Civil Defense Never Worked

Dee Garrison


At the dawn of the nuclear age, the US government was faced with an impossible task: to convince the American public that it could survive a nuclear attack. And so civil defense was born. Numerous federal and state civil defense programs sprang up, intended to pacify the population and legitimize deterrence policy, as well as to justify the billions spent on secret underground bomb shelters reserved for the government elite. A generation of Americans was indoctrinated to the catchy tune of “duck and cover”. Yet the civil defense program was a complete failure. In the 1950s and 1960s, early pro ... More

Keywords: nuclear age, nuclear attack, civil defense, duck and cover, air raid drill, Cold War

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780195183191
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183191.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dee Garrison, author
Rutgers University (Emeritus)