Civil Defense In The United States: Bandaid For A Holocaust?

1st Edition

Thomas J. Kerr

Routledge
Published June 7, 2019
Reference - 284 Pages
ISBN 9780367019853 - CAT# K403645

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Summary

To many, civil defense stands as a symbol of the futility of society’s attempt to escape the consequences of its own creations. Unlike other areas of national security policy, civil defense has never attracted widespread support and has encountered constant difficulties in securing political and financial backing. In addition, rapidly evolving military technology has consistently eroded the substance of the program and its credibility in the eyes of the public. This book traces the continuing endeavor in the United States to develop a means of protecting the American people from the effects of nuclear war. It is a story of frustration and, to a large degree, failure. The book begins with the pre-nuclear period of the two world wars, when political and organizational precedents were established that served as the basis for the Civil Defense Act of 1950. It then recounts the evolution of civil defense practices from the early 1950s to the present, during which time attention was focused, in tum, upon blast shelters, evacuation, fallout shelters, and, currently, crisis relocation. Dr. Kerr shows how the policies that have emerged are as much products of the political process as of weapons technology-how they reflect specific interactions between Congress and the executive branch in an environment marked by apathy on the part of the general public and hostility on the part of articulate groups.

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