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Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future

Art and Popular Culture Respond to the Bomb

Robert Jacobs - Contributions by Mick Broderick; John Canaday; Tom Engelhardt; Carole Gallagher; Judy Hiramoto; Kenji Ito; Minoru Maeda; Naoko Maeda; Yuki Tanaka and Spencer Weart

From the dawn of the atomic age, art and popular culture have played an essential role interpreting nuclear issues to the public and investigating the implications of nuclear weapons to the future of human civilization. Political and social forces often seemed paralyzed in thinking beyond the advent of nuclear weapons and articulating a creative response to the dilemma posed by this apocalyptic technology. Art and popular culture are uniquely suited to grapple with the implications of the bomb and the disruptions in the continuity of traditional narratives about the human future endemic to the atomic age. Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future explores the diversity of visions evoked in American and Japanese society by the mushroom cloud hanging over the future of humanity during the last half of the twentieth century. It presents historical scholarship on art and popular culture alongside the work of artists responding to the bomb, as well as artists discussing their own work. From the effect of nuclear testing on sci-fi movies during the mid-fifties in both the U.S. and Japan, to the socially engaged visual discussion about power embodied in Japanese manga, Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future takes readers into unexpected territory « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 290Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-3556-3 • Hardback • April 2010 • $100.00 • (£70.00)
978-0-7391-3557-0 • Paperback • April 2010 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
978-0-7391-3558-7 • eBook • April 2010 • $37.99 • (£24.95)
Series: AsiaWorld
Robert Jacobs is an associate professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University.
Chapter 1 Preface: Hiroshima Story
Chapter 2 Introduction: Filling the Hole in the Future
Chapter 3 1. Fetch Lights and Grocery Lists: Metaphors and Nuclear Weapons
Chapter 4 2. from Critical Assembly, Poems
Chapter 5 3. Robots, A-Bombs, and War: Cultural Meanings of Science and Technology in Japan Around World War Two
Chapter 6 4. The Day the Sun Was Lost, Manga
Chapter 7 5. The Summer You Can't Go Back To, Manga
Chapter 8 6. "The Buck Stops Here": Hiroshima Revisionism in the Truman Years
Chapter 9 7. Godzilla and the Bravo Shot: Who Created and Killed the Monster?
Chapter 10 8. Thank you Mr. Avedon
Chapter 11 9. Target Earth: The Atomic Bomb and the Whole Earth
Chapter 12 10. Nuclear Culture
13 11. Nuclear Fear 1987–2007: Has Anything Changed? Has Everything Changed?
Lively and thought-provoking. A nice mix of nationalities, of artists and scholars, of prose and poetry and artwork, of demonstration and oral history and analysis.
Richard H. Minear, University of Massachusetts Amherst


These sobering yet very readable essays from Japanese and American scholars, activists, and cultural creators explore a fascinating array of artistic and popular-cultural responses to the atomic bomb, the Cold War nuclear arms race, and the proliferation threats that dominate today's headlines.
Paul S. Boyer, author of By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age

This reader found much to think about in this volume.
Public Affairs, June 2011