Unmaking the Bomb: Environmental Cleanup and the Politics of Impossibility (Critical Environments: Nature, Science, and Politics #14) (Paperback)

Unmaking the Bomb: Environmental Cleanup and the Politics of Impossibility (Critical Environments: Nature, Science, and Politics #14) By Shannon Cram Cover Image
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"A powerfully researched and important look at the ravages of nuclear waste remediation."—​One of the Best Indie Books of 2023, Kirkus Reviews

What does it mean to reckon with a contaminated world? In Unmaking the Bomb, Shannon Cram considers the complex social politics of this question and the regulatory infrastructures designed to answer it. Blending history, ethnography, and memoir, she investigates remediation efforts at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a former weapons complex in Washington State. Home to the majority of the nation's high-level nuclear waste and its largest environmental cleanup, Hanford is tasked with managing toxic materials that will long outlast the United States and its institutional capacities. Cram examines the embodied uncertainties and structural impossibilities integral to that endeavor. In particular, this lyrical book engages in a kind of narrative contamination, toggling back and forth between cleanup's administrative frames and the stories that overspill them. It spends time with the statistical people that inhabit cleanup's metrics and models and the nonstatistical people that live with their effects. And, in the process, it explores the uneven social relations that make toxicity a normative condition. 

About the Author

Shannon Cram is Associate Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.

Praise For…

"In prose that’s both calm and solidly grounded in cited research, Cram presents. . . .a quietly devastating indictment that calls to mind such environmentalist classics as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring."
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Cram is calling for nothing less than a revolution in social norms and expectations that would make the elimination of nuclear weapons not only a possibility, but a certainty."
— Medicine, Conflict and Survival

"This book critically challenges the ways in which government bodies have defined risk from nuclear waste and reveals the daily experiences of those who have no choice but to embrace it"
— International Affairs

Product Details
ISBN: 9780520395121
ISBN-10: 0520395123
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Pages: 222
Language: English
Series: Critical Environments: Nature, Science, and Politics