Nathan Hodge Sharon Weinberger
A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry
September 25, 2019 Comments.. 342
A Nuclear Family Vacation Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry Two Washington D C defense reporters do for nukes what Sarah Vowell did for presidential assassinations in this fascinating kaleidoscopic portrait of nuclear weaponry In A Nuclear Family Vacation h

  • Title: A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry
  • Author: Nathan Hodge Sharon Weinberger
  • ISBN: 9781596913783
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Two Washington, D.C defense reporters do for nukes what Sarah Vowell did for presidential assassinations in this fascinating, kaleidoscopic portrait of nuclear weaponry.In A Nuclear Family Vacation, husband and wife journalists Sharon Weinberger and Nathan Hodge hit the open road to explore the secretive world of nuclear weaponry Along the way, they answer the questionsTwo Washington, D.C defense reporters do for nukes what Sarah Vowell did for presidential assassinations in this fascinating, kaleidoscopic portrait of nuclear weaponry.In A Nuclear Family Vacation, husband and wife journalists Sharon Weinberger and Nathan Hodge hit the open road to explore the secretive world of nuclear weaponry Along the way, they answer the questions most nuclear tourists don t get to ask Are nuclear weapons still on hair trigger alert Is there such a thing as a suitcase nuke Is Iran really building the bomb Together, Weinberger and Hodge visit top secret locations like the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility in Iran, the United States Kwajalein military outpost in the Marshall Islands, the Y 12 facility in Tennessee, and Site R, a bunker known as the Underground Pentagon, rud to be Vice President Cheney s personal undisclosed location of choice Their atomic road trip reveals plans to revitalize the U.S nuclear arsenal, even as the United States pushes other countries to disarm Weaving together travel writing with world changing events, A Nuclear Family Vacation unearths unknown and often quite entertaining stories about the nuclear world.

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    1 Blog on “A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry

    1. themacinator says:

      In 2006, 15 years after the end of the Cold War, according to "A Nuclear Family Vacation," and I have no reason to doubt their numbers, the United States spent essentially the same amount of money- $6.61 billion dollars- on the nuclear complex as in 1984, during the height of the Cold War. Part of that money funds "missileers": Air Force officers who sit underground awaiting orders to launch nuclear weapons. Two at a time, they sit strapped into chairs awaiting orders to follow a procedure and s [...]

    2. Jeff Jellets says:

      A splendid journey through missile silos, secret cities, clandestine government labs and sundry other places that glow-in-the-dark!Husband and wife authors Nathan Hodge and Sharon Weinberger may have written the quintessential travelogue on the world of nuclear weapons. Wry, witty and always fascinating, the authors traipse from Trinity, New Mexico -- the site of America’s first successful nuclear test -- to Kazakhstan – where Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedic character Borat seems to have cause [...]

    3. Benjaminxjackson says:

      As someone who grew up in the final years of the Cold War, I found this book to be an entertaining read. I had considered doing a similar kind of trip, but just to the Trinity and Las Vegas nuclear test sites. The descriptions of the missile silo crews, the scientists, and the other people involved were great. The description of the beleagured Kazahk diplomat in the wake of the movie Borat was great. I also liked the chapters on the Marshall Islands and the visits to the former Soviet Union. Pro [...]

    4. King Ævil says:

      While this book offers many surprising and fascinating insights into the current state of nuclear weaponry—especially outside the USA—I felt it was a bit too heavily weighted toward policy, as opposed to science. Although the authors bill themselves as nuclear "tourists," however, their journeys would not have been possible without their credentials and connections as reporters. On the other hand, combining their unusual access to semi-secret nuclear sights with their independence of the US [...]

    5. John says:

      Intriguing premiss - defense journalist couple spend vacation time touring nuclear sites worldwide - and well done. The authors find again installations (and personnel) who are no longer certain of their role. Quote: "We failed on our travels to find anyone within the complex who could articulate what the current role of the nuclear arsenal is, or should be. "

    6. Stephen Yoder says:

      I can't believe it took me this long to take this book down from the shelf to read it. Of course, the timing couldn't be better, in many ways, what with Obama having recently made the atomic deal with Iran and then Trump saying the he wants to bulk up our own nuclear weaponry (to what end? to attack whom?).One thing I really enjoyed about Nathan & Sharon's writing in this book are the times where they let silence hang in the air after they ask a particularly thought-provoking question. Or, a [...]

    7. Haiko Van Der Leeuw says:

      What sounded like an interesting book turned out to be a boring flyer.

    8. Ivy says:

      I was dizzy with excitement when I saw this book, and I actually bought it in hardback (I was tipsy after an early-afternoon soiree with white wine and oysters down on the waterfront, so I was caught up in some kind of dandy boho whirlwind of excess). Anyway, I loved it because I love nuclear weapons, but I find the title and jacket description EXTREMELY misleading. I thought it was billed as a road-trip/vacation narrative by people who are fascinated by nuclear history and visit various landmar [...]

    9. Paul says:

      An interesting and informative book regarding atomic tourism. It was a little light on some spots, and unfortunately a little dated (obviously not the fault of the authors). After reading the much newer book Command and Control if is easy to see how once the Cold War ended America did not and still doesn't know what to do with their nuclear arsenal. The plans if you want to call them that for using nuclear weapons if it ever came to that against the USSR were ridiculously scary. Some targets wer [...]

    10. Leslie says:

      The husband-wife authors of this heavily-researched 2006 book explore the world of nuclear bombs. They use irony and sarcasm in good measure.In an interesting chapter on the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, they quote a 2005 speech by nuclear physicist Richard Garwin in which he warns that there is an “almost 100 percent chance” a U.S. city will be struck by a nuclear bomb in the next ten years. Good-bye. OVER AND OUT. Wait a minute . . . ten years has come and gone. Pleasantville, PA [...]

    11. Peter Sprunger says:

      Very informative but a bit repetitive. Their main thesis is that the weapons complex is looking for an identity in the post Cold War era. They make this evident at every site they visit. This is the main downside to the book; each chapter seems to have the same message but at a different location. As an experimental nuclear physicist I am familiar with the national labs in the U.S. (Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, and Livermore) and reading their experiences at those labs was very interesting for me. How [...]

    12. Smellsofbikes says:

      Excellent. Written by a staff writer from Slate and one from Wired, and the writing style is very similar to both. The idea was to visit as many of the world's nuclear weapons sites as possible, and they did an excellent job, touring Los Alamos, Livermore, Oak Ridge, a number of missile silos, Cheyenne Mountain, a huge abandoned Soviet underground test site in Kazakhstan, and even a tour inside an Iranian uranium concentration site. It has a lot of depth and detail and is entirely worth reading. [...]

    13. Anna says:

      A married couple (journalists) travel the United States (and a few places abroad) doing what they refer to as "nuclear tourism". They learn firsthand nuclear history of the US and a few other countries, and get access to some pretty interesting stuff. And, because it is about the nuclear situation at home and abroad, it is ever so slightly unnerving.I had a blast reading it, and since the book is a few years old now, I'm dying to know what, if anything, has changed or evolved since they wrote it [...]

    14. Jeffrey says:

      Not really a travel book per se, since you can't actually visit most of these places if you aren't a reporter. But the "vacation" metaphor is really just an excuse for a portrait of the American nuclear weaponry ecosystem (plus a few others). Readable, informative and (usually) insightful - definitely a worthwhile read for anyone with an interest in Cold War history or an interest in where nuclear policy goes from here.

    15. Scott says:

      I expected this to be an eccentric travel book, or perhaps a history book, but it turned out to be a treatise on the current state of nuclear politics. I feel like I have an unusually strong background in national security issues, but fortunately this title is also very accessible to any reader with a nagging curiosity about the world nuclear apparatus.

    16. Kel says:

      All I can say is that anyone who finds this book to be the slightest bit "dry" has clearly never been forced to read an IAEA technical manual. And no, the book isn't perfect - a visit to Pantex would have been far more interesting to read about than the visits to Russia and Iran - but it is a great deal of funwhich is not something that can often be said of nuke books.

    17. g0rd0 says:

      These authors were definitely on vacation when they wrote this book. Granted they were visiting secret high security locations but they rarely got past the lobby and then only to the visitors museum guided by a official spokesperson who dodged all questions. The book did take me to places I'd never known before but I was disappointed at the depth of the tour.

    18. Nick Black says:

      I've heard this is not so great a book, but I'm hoping to do the whole nuclear safari thing next summer, and ought read it I suppose. the library. It's high time I figure out how the GT library works; I've got a list of about 1300 DOI's I've accumulated over the years I need pull one of these days anyway.

    19. Barb says:

      I had no concept about the nuclear establishment before reading this book. I felt completely removed from the productions, storage, plans.I enjoyed the relationship of the authors, that they were traveling during breaks from work do complete the research for the book. I could understand what they were describing.

    20. Hal Rodriguez says:

      After seeking out the Atomic Testing Museum in Nevada, I've been on a nuclear tourism kick. This book came recommended by a friend (in the field) and it's an enjoyable mix of travel guide, history and a critique of our nuclear weapons policy (or lack thereof).

    21. Amr says:

      random book which I picked up at the Basement, with an even more random topic. Yes the book is exactly about what the title says! I like such books that take you into areas or topics I thought they didn't even exist.

    22. Devon says:

      My favorite section was about folks who work in missile silos. Some parts were a bit on the dry side, but it was mostly interesting. Worth a read if you're hoping to be able to hold your own in conversations about nuclear weaponry.

    23. Philip Hollenback says:

      The first part of this book is a pretty entertaining travelogue about the nuclear weapon industry in America. The second part details similar activities in other countries.One weakness is the stuff in other countires is pretty vague, as is to be expected. Still, definitely worth a read.

    24. Avi says:

      the topic is well thought out, but the book was a bit too dry for me

    25. Richard McNab says:

      Very interesting. Great, quick read. Balanced between geek stuff and 'what it means'.

    26. Albert says:

      Nothing too extremely exciting

    27. Robert says:

      Found on Boing boing.

    28. Nick says:

      bookforum/inprint/015_02/2500

    29. G Scott says:

      Well written. For anyone curious for a fresh perspective on why nations of the world still keep an active nuclear arsenal.

    30. Jeremy says:

      An interesting, if a little dry and disjointed look the end of the world.

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