by Michael D'Antonio, 304 pp, with illus, $22.50, ISBN 0-517-589-818, New York, NY, Crown Publishers Inc, 1993.
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In Atomic Harvest Michael D'Antonio tells the story of the "Hanford Site," where the plutonium for the Trinity and Nagasaki bombs was made and where a large share of America's plutonium for bombs continued to be produced for decades. As an attractive device, he follows the evolution of thinking and actions by a prime set of actual characters: Tom Baillie, a farmer who lived and worked close by; Karen Dorn Steele, an earnest reporter for the Spokane Spokesman-Review; Casey Rund, a harassed safety auditor at the Hanford Works; and Paul Lorenzini and Michael Lawrence of the management side of the Hanford Works. Numerous other interesting characters fit into this story along the way. The result is a most readable, engaging book, clearly written. It is all done with grace and without demonizing any of the characters in the story, friend or foe.
D'Antonio tells us the following:
The legacy of
Gofman JW. Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the Lethal Toll of America's Nuclear Arsenal. JAMA. 1994;272(5):408. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520050090041