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The Wretched Atom – America's Global Gamble with Peaceful Nuclear Technology - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Wretched Atom: America's Global Gamble with Peaceful Nuclear Technology

Jacob Darwin Hamblin


After the Second World War, the United States offered a new kind of atom that differed from the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This atom would cure diseases, produce new foods, make deserts bloom, and provide abundant energy for all. It was an atom destined for the formerly colonized, recently occupied, and mostly non-white parts of the world that were dubbed the “wretched of the earth” by Frantz Fanon. The “peaceful atom” had so much propaganda potential that President Dwight Eisenhower used it to distract the world from his plan to test even bigger thermonuclear weapons. His sc ... More

Keywords: atomic energy, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, developing countries, International Atomic Energy Agency, Cold War, Atoms for Peace, nuclear history, nuclear proliferation, history of science and technology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197526903
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197526903.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jacob Darwin Hamblin, author
Professor of History, Oregon State University