Originally published in 1985, By the Bomb's Early Light
the first book to explore the cultural 'fallout' in America during
the early years of the atomic age. Paul Boyer argues that the major
aspects of the long-running debates about nuclear armament and
disarmament developed and took shape soon after the bombing of
The book is based on a wide range of sources, including cartoons,
opinion polls, radio programs, movies, literature, song lyrics,
slang, and interviews with leading opinion-makers of the time.
Through these materials, Boyer shows the surprising and profoundly
disturbing ways in which the bomb quickly and totally penetrated
the fabric of American life, from the chillingly prophetic
forecasts of observers like Lewis Mumford to the Hollywood starlet
who launched her career as the 'anatomic bomb.'
In a new preface, Boyer discusses recent changes in nuclear
politics and attitudes toward the nuclear age.