Back to All Events

Museum Reads Book Club: Atomic Frontier Days

  • East Benton County Historical Society 205 West Keewaydin Drive Kennewick, WA, 99336 United States (map)

Museum Reads Book Club

This free book club meets for discussion at the museum on the 2nd Wednesday of the Month from February to October  and starts at 6:15 pm

2018's curated book list features titles and themes inspired by the history, people, and culture of Benton County, Washington State, and the Pacific Northwest. Drop in on the books that interest you or attend all 9 gatherings.

This book club is for those who are curious about our local and regional history! #BeCurious #DiscoverHistory through a good book and fun company!

Book Summary: Atomic Frontier Days by John Findlay and Bruce Hevly

On the banks of the Pacific Northwest’s greatest river lies the Hanford nuclear reservation, an industrial site that appears to be at odds with the surrounding vineyards and desert. The 586-square-mile compound on the Columbia River is known both for its origins as part of the Manhattan Project, which made the first atomic bombs, and for the monumental effort now under way to clean up forty-five years of waste from manufacturing plutonium for nuclear weapons. Hanford routinely makes the news, as scientists, litigants, administrators, and politicians argue over its past and its future.

It is easy to think about Hanford as an expression of federal power, a place apart from humanity and nature, but that view distorts its history. Atomic Frontier Days looks through a wider lens, telling a complex story of production, community building, politics, and environmental sensibilities. In brilliantly structured parallel stories, the authors bridge the divisions that accompany Hanford’s headlines and offer perspective on today’s controversies. Influenced as much by regional culture, economics, and politics as by war, diplomacy, and environmentalism, Hanford and the Tri-Cities of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick illuminate the history of the modern American West.

Atomic Frontier Days captures one of the most interesting and controversial places in the American West in all its surprising particularity. Technologically sophisticated, shrewd, at once analytically unflinching and generous, it belongs on the short list of books necessary to understand the West and its complicated relation to the nation.
— Richard White, author of The Organic Machine
Earlier Event: October 4
Open Late for First Thursday
Later Event: October 16
EBCHS Annual Membership Meeting