9781568983059

Survival City: Adventures Among the Ruins of Atomic America

Vanderbilt, Tom

ISBN 10: 1568983050 / 1-56898-305-0
ISBN 13: 9781568983059
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
The Cold War was the war that never happened.Nonetheless, it spurred the most significant buildup of military contingency this country has ever known: from the bunkers of Greenbrier, West Virginia, to the "proving grounds" of Nevada, where entire cities were built only to be vaporized. The Cold War was waged on a territory that knew no boundaries but left few traces.In this fascinating--and at turns frightening and comical--travelogue to the hidden battlefields of the Cold War, Tom Vanderbilt travels the Interstate (itself a product of the Cold War) to uncover the sites of Cold War architecture and reflect on their lasting heritage.In the process, Vanderbilt shows us what the Cold War landscape looked like, how architecture tried to adapt to the threat of mass destruction, how cities coped with the knowledge that they were nuclear targets, and finally what remains of the Cold War theater today, both its visible and invisible legacies. Ultimately, Vanderbilt gives us a deep look into our cultural soul, the dreams and fears that drove us for the last half of the 20th century.

Review:
This is a crucial and dazzling book. Masterful, and for me at least, intoxicating. It reminds us of the absurd and sinister ways humans have attempted to ensure their survival, and, without ever oversimplifying, it manages to be a ridiculously entertaining read. Amid the ruins of a different era in postwar national defense, its stepchild of abject paranoia, Vanderbilt--the perfect guide--finds levity and humanity. Survival City recalls the buoyant spirit of Michael Paterniti's Driving Einstein's Brain and the exacting but soulful reading of misplaced architectural aspirations of D.J. Waldie's Holy Land. - Dave Eggers, Author, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

From the Back Cover

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Book Description: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The Cold War was the war that never happened.Nonetheless, it spurred the most significant buildup of military contingency this country has ever known: from the bunkers of Greenbrier, West Virginia, to the "proving grounds" of Nevada, where entire cities were built only to be vaporized. The Cold War was waged on a territory that knew no boundaries but left few traces.In this fascinating - and at turns frightening and comical - travelogue to the hidden battlefields of the Cold War, Tom Vanderbilt travels the Interstate (itself a product of the Cold War) to uncover the sites of Cold War architecture and reflect on their lasting heritage.In the process, Vanderbilt shows us what the Cold War landscape looked like, how architecture tried to adapt to the threat of mass destruction, how cities coped with the knowledge that they were nuclear targets, and finally what remains of the Cold War theater today, both its visible and invisible legacies. Ultimately, Vanderbilt gives us a deep look into our cultural soul, the dreams and fears that drove us for the last half of the 20th century. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_1568983050

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