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The History of Preparing for Nuclear War

The History of Preparing for Nuclear War

Civil Defense! From the dawn of World War II and throughout the 1960s, America had a plan to keep its civilians safe and fit to fight in case of invasion or, god forbid, nuclear armageddon. From duck and cover to the aesthetic of the Fallout video games, American popular culture is enmeshed in the history of its Civil Defense. But what, exactly, is Civil Defense. Where did it come from and do we still practice it today?

Here to help with this history is Alex Wellerstein. Wellerstein is a historian of science, secrecy, and nuclear weapons. He lectures on this and more at Stevens Institute of Technology. You may know him as the guy who created the nuke map, a website that allows you to simulate the effect of various nuclear weapons on an interactive map.

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