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The Upside of Nuclear War?

Upside of Nuclear War coverNuclear War
What’s in it for you?
Ground Zero

Ready to do some library shaming today and our first candidate is this little paperback from 1982. Aside from the dust that would induce a sneezing fit that would split your head open, it’s not in bad shape. This particular library added it to the collection in 1993. (There is a notation from the processor). This particular library probably automated in 1995 or 1996 and again someone slapped a barcode and went on their merry way.

I really do want to know what is in it for me! Instant death? Survival, but a slow agonizing death? Sounds super fun! Of course I flipped through the book and the giant example of ground zero in this story is bombing Detroit. Did it have to be Detroit? (sigh)


Upside of nuclear war back cover

Nuclear war: what's in it for you?

nuclear war

9 Responses to The Upside of Nuclear War?

  • 1982? This seems to assume a level of ignorance that would be more suited to 20 years earlier (though it’s true Reagan’s early years in office made it seem a lot more possible).

  • *Starts humming “Duck and Cover”*

  • Omggggg this would look so good on the back of my toilet next to What to Do When the Russians Come! http://awfullibrarybooks.net/?p=1359

  • The juxtaposition of cold grim facts with the jaunty cover and “what’s in it for you:” most creepy!

  • Reminds me of those nuclear attack drills in which we went into the hallways of our school, got on our knees and put our head between said knees. We’d all be neat little piles of ashes, I suppose.

  • The 80s? People were too busy playing with their new PCs and being entrepreneurs to worry about nukes.

  • Recent news from/pictures of Detroit suggest that they did detonate that 1 Megaton bomb. Or was that just Capitalism destroying itself?

  • Oh, wow. I grew up with tiny and outdated collections in both the local public library and my school libraries. I’ve been trying to find images of this book for years to show people how bad my junior high library was, but I got the cover blurb and title all mixed together in my searches. Between books like this and the Golden Age science fiction I was getting from the public library, I didn’t actually realize that the Cold War was over until about 1997.

    From what I recall, it was actually a pretty good introduction to what nuclear war and MADD were really all about. I definitely wouldn’t want it on the shelves of a public library, much less the school library I found it in, but I think it’d be a great little bit of in-the-moment history for a special collection.

  • I actually own this book, and it’s a really good resource, for what it is. I used it when I took a course in creative writing and I was writing post-apocalyptic fiction. For those who don’t understand the period in which it was written, the TV miniseries The Day After was broadcast the following year. I kept this, The Anarchist Cookbook, and a CIA manual on guerrilla tactics in my car, along with my survival kit and 20 gallons of water, in my car at all times.