Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nuclear War - What's In It For You?

A post about - nuclear war?

No, not exactly.  But, the title was so catchy, I couldn't resist.  Just ask any headline writer or any author.  The title of a book, a blog post, or a newspaper article, plays a major role in hooking the reader.  So, my reader, you have been hooked.

Of course, the writer or author then has to reel its reader in.

I follow a blog called "Awful Library Books".  It is written by two public librarians in Michigan.  They consult with other libraries on various topics, including weeding their collections of books that are outdated - a process also called "library deselection".

During that process, they blog about books they find that are just plain awful.  When you look at a "topical" book from the 50's (yes, 50's books still in library collections!), the 60's, 70's, or even 80's through the lens of the 2nd decade of the 21st century, you find some books just haven't aged well.  Sometimes the outdatedness is hilarious.  Sometimes, scary.

Sometimes, sobering.

Today, the Awful Librar Books bloggers wrote about a book called "Nuclear War - What's In It for You?" by the "Ground Zero Project"  It dates from 1982.  Besides having a catchy title for a blog post, it asks you: "Why Do You Feel Scared with 10,000. Nuclear Weapons Protecting You?"

Good question. 

I grew up in the "duck and cover" days and we in the United States had lots of nuclear weapons pointed at the then-Soviet Union.  Trouble was, the Soviets had as many pointed back at us.  Yes - many of us put this into one corner of our minds and went about our daily lives.  What else could we do? But, to this day, when I hear a siren go off or see a flash of sunlight out of the corner of my life - for one instant, I know my time is up.

I found this book on Amazon (it seems to be out of print, though) and two people reviewed it - both people gave it a positive review.

The book talks about a nuclear attack on a major U.S. City - Detroit, to be exact.  (no comment). It describes the first nuclear war (yes, World War II, where the United States used 100% of its nuclear weapons).  It talks about the U.S.-Soviet Arms race I grew up during.  It even talks about "Star Wars" (not the movie, but something my generation will recognize.) 

But, although outdated, this book teaches a lesson it probably never intended to teach.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

We are still scared.  Only the names have changed.

Once again, nostalgia ain't what it is cracked up to be.


  1. Living in the same state as the city of Detroit, I find it hilarious how often outsiders condemn the city - considering the fact that I am an implant here and move to Michigan from Pennsylvania.

    That state has many slums, including Easton and Philadephia, PA... but I never see many make snide remarks about those cities. It's poor Detroit, always getting the sword. :)

    If it was a girl, she'd be crying all the time.

    As for the nuclear war - I don't dwell on it. Here today, gone tomorrow. I live each day as if it's my last - so there's sense in worrying about the bomb dropping.

    If it does, I'll be dead before I knew what hit me.

  2. Alana, so true, "nostalgia ain't what it's cracked up to be." I've always felt that way. Thanks for the interesting invitation to think.

  3. Scary ibdeed. Anything could happen at any time. Lethal gas released, pandemics, poisoned water, bombing buildings--anything is possible. The best thing to do, as we did back in the day, is to get on with our daily lives. Now is the only reality. ;-)


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