Nuclear weapons expert Paul Carroll talks about what it means to be Born (not “Bourne”) Classified, revisits horrifying near-misses in which we almost accidentally blew up parts of the United States (what you don’t know can hurt you!), and discusses his visit to an abandoned test site in the Nevada desert, when the government entertained using nuclear bombs to excavate tunnels and harbors.
Yasmeen Silva, a nuclear policy advocate, relates a story about feminist Carol Cohn, who infiltrated a “nuclear boys club” in the 1980s, which reinforced her notion of nuclear weapons as phallic representations of toxic masculinity. Silva also relates a personal story about the panic that ensued on January 13, 2018, when a missile attack threatened Hawaii, only to be called a false alarm.
Jim Walsh, a Senior Research Associate at MIT, breaks down the “History of the Nukes in 5 Parts,” from 1945 to the present. He also talks about visiting forbidden countries, which can lead to unusual encounters – like almost getting deported while walking through an airport in Iran for no reason, to singing drunk karaoke with North Koreans in a Stockholm nightclub.
Nuclear foreign policy expert Laicie Heeley takes us back to the paranoid days of Richard Nixon, when a drunk “Tricky Dick” often threatened to blow up Vietnam or the Middle East only to have Secretary of State Henry Kissinger run interference. She also talks about when bomb shelters were all the rage. And how do the rich prepare for war? For First Lady Eisenhower, that meant painting her shelters pink.
A brief introduction to the new series, Getting Bombed