Friendly Fallout 1953 is a hybrid work of literature that combines the actual history of aboveground atomic testing in the Nevada desert in 1953 with fictional vignettes that explore the impact of the tests on the people who participated in them and on civilian "downwinders." The book brings to life a turbulent era when Cold War fears, patriotic enthusiasm, scientific progress, and unacknowledged political agendas often collided with the welfare of ordinary citizens and the environment.
"Friendly Fallout 1953 expertly and eloquently recounts the drama of atomic weapons testing in Nevada through the voices of colorful characters who seemingly have little in common beyond their unfortunate location in time and space. As the chronicle unfolds, the author deftly weaves their stories into a patchwork of doom that captures our imagination, pulls at our heartstrings, and not so subtly warns us of the damage that can be wrought by those charged with our protection." -- A. Costandina Titus, author of Bombs in the Backyard: Atomic Testing and American Politics
"Ann Ronald has done a superb job of bringing to life the drama and stark reality of the atomic era." -- Sally Denton, author of The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and Its Hold on America, 1947-2000
"Ann Ronald compellingly evokes the test explosions in all their terrifying magnificence and explores the diverse and sometimes conflicting emotions of a generation that saw atomic energy as its best protection against the horrors of another world war." -- Nevada Magazine
"This innovative book illuminates Ann Ronald's importance as an outstanding writer about the American West and the American environment." -- Frank Bergon, author of The Temptations of St. Ed and Brother S.
"The enormity of the possibility of nuclear warfare has always exceeded our ability to represent it, though the attempt to do so has been very productive, giving us great works ranging from Dr. Strangelove (1964) to The Fate of the Earth (1982). To this worthy canon, Ann Ronald has now added Friendly Fallout 1953, a blend of fact and fiction that conveys something largely missing from its predecessors, namely, a sense of how nuclear testing was experienced by the varied people involved in it and what it meant to them." -- Western American Literature~David Mazel, Western American Literature