Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorImmerman, Richard H.
dc.creatorRobey, Sarah E.
dc.date.accessioned2020-11-02T15:10:47Z
dc.date.available2020-11-02T15:10:47Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/2251
dc.description.abstractNuclear weapons technology transformed the meaning of American citizenship in the early Cold War. The nature of nuclear war forced Americans to reconsider the relationship between citizens and the state, raising the question: who was responsible for Americans’ survival? As weapons technologies became more destructive, this civic debate intensified, demanding the involvement of policymakers, scientists, activists, and a surprising number of everyday Americans. Using a framework I call nuclear citizenship, this dissertation illustrates how knowledge of the nuclear threat led American citizens to reimagine ideas of public safety and democracy. This research thus examines the intersection of federal civil defense policies, popular science, and antinuclear activism, revealing how nuclear weapons opened new avenues for political participation and challenged ideas about democratic practice in the post-World War II era. Put another way, the problem of public safety in the Atomic Age gave Americans a new language for discussing rights, responsibilities, civic duty, and the power of the state. Americans, I argue, used their understanding of nuclear science and technology as a means for pushing back against the Cold War state. American civilians were active participants in a public dialogue that ultimately came to conclude that nuclear weapons stood in the way of peace, prosperity, and human health. Scholars frequently examine nuclear history through the lens of classified federal policymaking, military advancements, or elite science. These narratives downplay the economy of nuclear information available to civilians, and the ability of average Americans to understand and act in response to nuclear knowledge. This dissertation reorients the historical understanding of the early nuclear era in the United States by drawing attention to grassroots political engagement with nuclear science and technology. By utilizing a variety of local and federal records, personal correspondence, popular media, and civic group documents, my research gives agency to a range of unconsidered actors. My work thus adds nuance to larger scholarly conversations about the relationship between science, the state, and civilians, and changing currents of political activism in the postwar era.
dc.format.extent308 pages
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherTemple University. Libraries
dc.relation.ispartofTheses and Dissertations
dc.rightsIN COPYRIGHT- This Rights Statement can be used for an Item that is in copyright. Using this statement implies that the organization making this Item available has determined that the Item is in copyright and either is the rights-holder, has obtained permission from the rights-holder(s) to make their Work(s) available, or makes the Item available under an exception or limitation to copyright (including Fair Use) that entitles it to make the Item available.
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
dc.subjectAmerican History
dc.subjectHistory
dc.titleThe Atomic American: Citizenship in a Nuclear State, 1945-1963
dc.typeText
dc.type.genreThesis/Dissertation
dc.contributor.committeememberBailey, Beth L.
dc.contributor.committeememberGoedde, Petra
dc.contributor.committeememberBalogh, Brian
dc.description.departmentHistory
dc.relation.doihttp://dx.doi.org/10.34944/dspace/2233
dc.ada.noteFor Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation, including help with reading this content, please contact scholarshare@temple.edu
dc.description.degreePh.D.
refterms.dateFOA2020-11-02T15:10:47Z


Files in this item

Thumbnail
Name:
Robey_temple_0225E_12783.pdf
Size:
14.39Mb
Format:
PDF

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record