“I absolutely love this book, and I’m not alone. My students love it too, and book prize committees seem to have loved it because it has won a raft of prizes in quite different categories, which is in and of itself amazing. It is what Brown calls a ‘tandem history’ in that it toggles back and forth between a community in the state of Washington which was central in the US nuclear weapons production program, and a community in the southern Urals, in Russia, which was central in the nuclear weapons program of the Soviet Union. It deals with parallels between these two communities and also the differences. That works very well. She says it is not comparative history, but tandem history, although I do think it does make illuminating comparisons with that structure. Also, I’ve got to say, doing serious research about top-secret stuff is not easy, and Kate Brown knows how to do it as well as anybody.” Read more...
The best books on Environmental History
John R McNeill,