Day We Lost the H-Bomb Cold War. Presidio Press, 2009.
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Amazon Best of the Month, April 2009: In 1966, a mid-air collision off the coast of Spain between a fueling tanker and a B2 bomber resulted in a loss of life, strained international relations, and a PR nightmare for the US government. Not only had the crash put innocent civilians at risk from raining debris, but it also produced a much larger problem once the dust had cleared: four hydrogen bombs were now unaccounted for. The Day We Lost the H-Bomb explores an awakening to the realities of a nuclear age. Despite a handful of plutonium-grade foul-ups on our own soil, Americans were seemingly at ease with a burgeoning arsenal of nuclear weaponry. Cold War anxiety over the ever-reaching arm of Communism fueled massive increases in U.S. military spending, yet not enough attention was given to the dangers of an arms race until this fatal accident abroad. --Dave CallananAmazon Exclusive: An Essay by Barbara Moran
Two years ago, on a chilly February morning, I found myself standing on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. I was wearing a bathing suit, shivering in the cold and feeling like a complete idiot.
It was all Ellen’s fault. A few weeks earlier, before leaving for Spain to research The Day We Lost the H-Bomb, I had had lunch with Ellen Ruppel Shell, a former writing teacher. As we chatted about my upcoming trip, I told her the story of Angier Biddle Duke, the American Ambassador to Spain in 1966. After the United States accidentally dropped four hydrogen bombs near a Spanish village, Duke orchestrated a PR stunt, swimming in the chilly Med to prove that the water wasn’t radioactive.
I mentioned that I was planning to visit the beach where Angie swam. Ellen looked at me and said, “Well, of course you have to swim there, too.” I had to admit she was right. It’s always easier to write about something you’ve experienced firsthand.
Now, here I was on the beach. I had been anxious about the swim, searching for any excuse to get out of it. My translator had mentioned something about a jellyfish invasion of the Mediterranean, which gave me hope. But I had scoped out the beach the previous day and there wasn’t a jellyfish in sight. No people in sight, either. In my few days on the coast I had seen no one in the water and hardly anyone on the beach, just a few pasty Brits and backpackers sprawled on the sand. It was, after all, February.
The next morning I got up at dawn. My plan was to sneak down to the beach without anyone seeing me. The Spanish were used to gringos acting strangely, but a dip in the Med in the middle of winter was surely a bit too far.
The beach was deserted, but I noted with alarm that a tour bus was parked beside the road overlooking the ocean. Unlike Angie Duke, my goal was to attract as little attention as possible. I took off my shirt and shorts, and stood on the beach on my bathing suit, cursing Ellen for putting this idea in my head. Where were those jellyfish when I needed them? I wondered if the tour bus was filling with old folks who now had something interesting to look at.
I took my first step in. The water was clear and cold, the bottom soft and pebbled. I took a few more steps, my feet sinking into the sand. There was a steep drop and I was suddenly up to my waist. A quick count of one, two, three and I ducked underwater. I came back up, shook my hair and tasted the salty water on my face. My job was done.
My 30-second dip in the Med, after all my anxiety, was anticlimactic. Angie’s swim was completely the opposite. --Barbara Moran
(Photo © John G. Nikolai)About the Author:
Barbara Moran is an award-winning science journalist who has written for many publications, including New Scientist, Invention & Technology, Technology Review and the Boston Globe. Her television documentary credits include the PBS series Frontline, The American Experience and NOVA, as well as the History and Discovery Channels. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Boston University’s graduate program in science and medical reporting, she received a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT in 2001. She lives in Boston with her husband and son.
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Descripción Presidio Pr, Novato, California, U.S.A., 2009. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. "On January 17, 1966, a U.S. Air Force B-53 bomber exploded over the sleepy Spanish village of Palomares during a routine airborne refueling. The explosion killed seven airmen and scattered the bomber's payload - four unarmed thermonuclear bombs - across miles of coastline." b/w photo insert, Epilogue, Notes, Index. Published $26.00. Nº de ref. de la librería 015766
Descripción Ballantine / Presidio, 2009. No Binding. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new. Pristine. No markings. // shipped securely packed in a sturdy box. 256 pages Publisher: Ecco; 1 edition (January 6, 2009) Language: English ISBN-10: 0061537195 ISBN-13: 978-0061537196 Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.4 x 7.9 inches Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces. Nº de ref. de la librería 009219
Descripción Presidio Press, 2009. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110891419047
Descripción Presidio Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0891419047 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0491625