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Alex Wellerstein

historian
scientist

Recommended Books

Alex Wellerstein is a historian of science at the Stevens Institute of Technology who studies the history of nuclear weapons. He is the creator of NUKEMAP.
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Armageddon Insurance
Civil Defense in the United States and Soviet Union, 1945–1991 (The New Cold War History)
Edward M. Geist - Jan 07, 2019
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The dangerous, decades-long arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War begged a fundamental question: how did these superpowers actually plan to survive a nuclear strike? In Armageddon Insurance, the first historical account of Soviet civil defense and a pioneering reappraisal of its American counterpart, Edward M....
Alex Wellerstein
Mar 02, 2021
@MaraWilson 1) Duck and Cover was not a useless as it looks to us today. For 1950 it was solid advice. 2) The Soviets also had a Civil Defense program. Nearly all nuclear nations did at some point. An excellent book on the Soviet and US Civil Defense programs is:      source
Alex Wellerstein
Jun 22, 2020
Also this book from the early 1950s combines 1) an amazing title with 2) amazing typographical choices. SPOILERS: it doesn't actually tell you how to make an atomic bomb in your own kitchen.      source
Anathem
Neal Stephenson - Aug 25, 2009 (first published in 2008)
Goodreads Rating
For ten years Fraa Erasmas, a young avout, has lived in a cloistered sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside world. But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic changeand Erasmas will becom...
Alex Wellerstein
Dec 11, 2019
@JBWolfsthal @nealstephenson Snow Crash and Diamond Age are the easy ways in. I tend to recommend people start with them. I think his best book is Anathem but if you start with it, you probably won't like it — it's very long, very strange. But rewarding!      source
Controlling Human Heredity
1865 to the Present (Control of Nature)
Diane B. Paul - Oct 31, 1995
Goodreads Rating
In the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, it was widely assumed that society ought to foster the breeding of those who possessed favourable traits and discourage the breeding of those who did not. Controlled human breeding, 'eugenics' as it...
Alex Wellerstein
Dec 10, 2019
@jaivirdi @pal8g2015 My favorite intro book on it is Diane Paul's Controlling Human Heredity — it's slim, thoughtful, critical.      source