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Red Scare

A Communist Insider Tells All

communists in britain cover

The Communist Technique in Britain
Darke
1952

This Cold War relic is actually an interesting book. It’s less dogma and more about the inner politics of the Communist Party in Britain and how the British Communists exert a great deal of influence more than would be indicated by the size of the party. I have only read bits and pieces, but I was fascinated by the party discipline issues and the power dynamics of the Party. Cold War nerds out there: I would love to hear your thoughts.

Mary

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Nuclear Attacks and Natural Disasters

In Time of Emergency - cover

In time of Emergency
a citizen’s handbook
on Nuclear Attack Natural Disasters
Department of Defense
1968

Straight from the 1960s, here is your comprehensive guide to surviving a nuclear attack and/or a natural disaster. This book has all the pertinent information on creating a fallout shelter, recognizing symptoms of radiation poisoning, and medical emergencies.

The natural disaster section is rather thin in comparison and is really just basics of listen to the radio and follow instructions of authorities in your area. The tornado section advises opening all the windows, which is now inaccurate.

Personally, I believe that libraries can serve an important role in major disasters. I really loved hearing how libraries step up during this time and adapt to their community’s needs. (Read this NPR article on the library’s role during Hurricane Sandy.)

So get your safety checklist in order!

Mary

 

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You Can Survive the Atomic Bomb!

How to Survive an Atomic BombHow to Survive an Atomic Bomb
Gerstell
1950

My generation was taught to hide under our school desk in order to dodge “the Bomb”.  Every school kid practiced civil defense drills, just like a fire drill. Evidently your average school desk is resistant to atomic rays.

This book contains lots of helpful advice, from wearing a hat to prevent radiation to calculating the body count from the bomb’s epicenter. Even with some grisly death counts, the author assures us that “authorities” will still be in charge and that nuclear war is survivable. So pack your Geiger counter and hat so you can be ready when “the big one” comes.

Hiding under my desk,

Mary

 

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