10 Books to Read after Listening to The Shadow of Oppenheimer
In our latest season, The Shadow of Oppenheimer, we explored how pop culture portrays the man who invented the nuclear weapon, J Robert Oppenheimer, and nuclear weapons. We also heard from impacted communities about how the Trinity Test and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki continue to affect them.
1. American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
Christopher Nolan's film Oppenheimer was inspired by this book. In other words, if you enjoyed the film and want to know what inspired it, this book is for you.
2. Beyond the Mushroom Cloud: Commemoration, Religion, and Responsibility After Hiroshima by Dr. Yuki Miyamoto
This book explores the religious and ethical sensibilities of hibakusha (survivors) of 1945's atomic bombings. Dr. Yuki Miyamoto was a guest in Hiroshima: The Story That Almost Wasn't. The book is a great read if you want to get to know the Hibakusha in their own words.
3. Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World by Lesley M.M. Blume
Lesley M.M. Blume was a guest on the episode Hiroshima: The Story that Almost Wasn't about the bombing of Hiroshima and John Hersey, the journalist who uncovered the cover-up. A must-read for anyone interested in John Hersey!
4. Filling The Hole in The Nuclear Future: Art and Popular Culture Respond to the Bomb edited by Robert Jacobs
In this book, Japanese and American scholars, activists, and cultural creators discuss a fascinating array of artistic and popular cultural responses to nuclear weapons, nuclear arms races, and proliferation threats that dominate today's news cycle.
5. Hiroshima by John Hersey
This is the quintessential book about the human impact of nuclear weapons. The book itself tells the stories of six survivors of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
6. The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
It tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. This book describes the science, the people, and the sociopolitical realities that led to the development of the atomic bomb.
7. Nuclear Desire: Power and the Postcolonial Nuclear Order by Dr. Shampa Biswas
In the book, Biswas proposes that the pursuit and production of nuclear power is sustained by this unequal global order whose persistent and daily harmful effects are experienced by some of the most vulnerable bodies around the world. This is a fantastic read to learn more about the global nuclear system and the changes that many think need to be made.
8. Nuclear Nuevo México: Colonialism and the Effects of the Nuclear Industrial Complex on Nuevomexicanos by Dr. Myrriah Gómez
The book analyzes the experiences of Nuevomexicanas/os who have been affected by the nuclear industrial complex. Myrriah Gomez offers a much-needed history based on the voices of the people whose lives and lands were stolen in the name of nuclear research.
9. Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the United States by Alex Wellerstein
The book traces US nuclear secrecy from its origins in the 1930s to the present day. He appeared in the season finale, Pop Culture in the Atomic Age. The book provides a good overview of nuclear secrecy, as mentioned in the film.
10. The Day the Sun Rose Twice: The Story of the Trinity Site Nuclear Explosion by Ferenc Morton Szasz
A thorough and well-written account of the Trinity Site nuclear explosion, the culmination of Los Alamos' longhairs. The book is an excellent read on the Trinity Site.