Bombs Over Bikini: The World's First Nuclear Disaster


Book Information

Twenty_First Century Books 2014
Social Studies Curriculum

Students interested in learning more about the Cold War arms race will find Bombs Over Bikini a useful resource. In a clear, concise manner the progression from the first atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan to the extensive US military nuclear bomb test program that spanned from 1946 though 1958 is meticulously chronicled.

Readers may be surprised to learn just how much we didn’t know about nuclear explosions. Navy crews were sent in to swab the decks of vessels recently involved in nuclear explosions, dressed in shorts and tennis shoes. Animals were enlisted as test subjects including goats and pigs. It was interesting to learn that dogs, originally included as test subjects, were soon excluded from the list after out cries from dog lovers nation-wide. Other startling information the book reports is how people on Rongelap Atoll were never given notification or relocation when in 1954, a bomb, 1000 times the force used on Hiroshima was detonated within 100 miles of their home.

More startling to learn is that even now decades after the bombing the Rongelap people are still waiting for compensation and clean up. The book includes many photos, news clippings, source notes, film, book, and web bibliographies that provide the reader with additional resources for study.

Recommended grades 6 through high school  9781467716123    88 pages

Recommended by:  Joanne Ligamari, Teacher Librarian, Foothill High School, TRUSD, Sacramento, CA.

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