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308 pages

Making a Real Killing, Rocky Flats and the Nuclear West

Creator: Len Ackland | History - 1999

p>Just as huge nuclear explosions result from small spheres of plutonium, the story of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant near Denver, Colorado is much larger than itself.

Publisher: UNM Press

About this book
p>Just as huge nuclear explosions result from small spheres of plutonium, the story of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant near Denver, Colorado is much larger than itself. It is about the Church family, who came West seeking gold in 1861, stayed to raise cattle, watched the federal government take a large piece of its land for the weapons plant in 1951--and now is busily developing real estate in the booming suburbs next to the contaminated plant site. It is about the government and private corporations that produced the deadliest devices in history for thirty-seven years, concealed problems behind the wall of national security secrecy, and came close to a Chernobyl-scale disaster during a 1969 fire. It is about plant managers who cut corners to maintain weapons production, workers who saw themselves as loyal Cold War soldiers, and citizen activists who challenged the plant's very existence. And it is about a community that profited from thousands of jobs and contracts but now faces long-term environmental and health risks. Making a Real Killingexamines the way Americans participated in building a nuclear weapons arsenal capable of destroying the human species. To read it is to learn some sobering lessons, including the fact that the democratic process lagged decades behind technological developments. "As Americans reckon with the legacy of the Cold War,Making a Real Killingdeserves a place at the center of our attention. Len Ackland's integrity and hard work remind us how crucial energetic journalism is for a successful democracy."--Patricia Nelson Limerick

1038 pages


Creator: James A. Michener | Fiction - 2008-10-15

Chronicles the lives of individuals involved in the development and exploitation of the American West, particularly Colorado

About this book
Celebrates the rich history of the American West, with characters such as Lame Beaver, the Arapaho chieftain and warrior; Levi Zendt, who travels westward with his child bride; and other assorted trappers and traders. Reissue.

561 pages

Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature

Creator: William Cronon | History - 1996-10-17

This indispensable volume makes a bold start on that project attacking it with imagination, insight, originality, and wit.

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

About this book
A controversial, timely reassessment of the environmentalist agenda by outstanding historians, scientists, and critics. In a lead essay that powerfully states the broad argument of the book, William Cronon writes that the environmentalist goal of wilderness preservation is conceptually and politically wrongheaded. Among the ironies and entanglements resulting from this goal are the sale of nature in our malls through the Nature Company, and the disputes between working people and environmentalists over spotted owls and other objects of species preservation. The problem is that we haven't learned to live responsibly in nature. The environmentalist aim of legislating humans out of the wilderness is no solution. People, Cronon argues, are inextricably tied to nature, whether they live in cities or countryside. Rather than attempt to exclude humans, environmental advocates should help us learn to live in some sustainable relationship with nature. It is our home.

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