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The Firecracker Boys

H-Bombs, Inupiat Eskimos, and the Roots of the Environmental Movement

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


In 1958, Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb, unveiled his plan to detonate six nuclear bombs off the Alaskan coast to create a new harbor. However, the plan was blocked by a handful of Eskimos and biologists who succeeded in preventing massive nuclear devastation potentially far greater than that of the Chernobyl blast. The Firecracker Boys is a story of the U.S. government's arrogance and deception, and the brave people who fought against it-launching America's environmental movement. As one of Alaska's most prominent authors, Dan O'Neill brings to these pages his love of Alaska's landscape, his skill as a nature and science writer, and his determination to expose one of the most shocking chapters of the Nuclear Age.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 04, 1994 – In the late 1950s, the U.S. Government touted atoms for peace; the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and its research arm, the Livermore National Laboratory (LNL) envisioned changing the face of the earth with atomic blasts that would gouge out canals and harbors, move mountains and deflect ocean currents. Edward Teller, director of the LNL, proposed ``Project Chariot'' to create an instant deepwater harbor at Cape Thompson in northwest Alaska by detonating several thermonuclear bombs. The site was about 30 miles from Point Hope, the oldest continually occupied settlement in North America and home to some 50 native households. Representatives from the AEC and LNL (including Teller) flocked to Alaska to sell the project, assuring residents that it would be safe and promising that the project would be scrapped if environmental studies indicated danger. O'Neill, an oral historian at the University of Alaska, gives an engrossing, well-documented account of events that led to cancellation of the project. He deftly tells a sorry story of government mendacity and deception and an inspiring tale of courageous opposition by local residents, early environmental activists and scientists willing to risk their careers to stop the plan.
The Firecracker Boys
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Jun 23, 2015
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 448 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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