Social Science Forum, Prof. Kate Brown on "Plutopia"
Learn about the big plutonium disaster in the US and USSR
Kate Brown will speak on the great plutonium disasters of the United States and the Soviet Union, drawing on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the extraordinary stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia-the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias--communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Plutopia was successful because in its zoned-off isolation it appeared to deliver the promises of the American dream and Soviet communism; in reality, it concealed disasters that remain highly unstable and threatening today.
Kate Brown is an Associate Professor of History at UMBC. She is the author of A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard 2004) which won a handful of prizes including the American Historical Association’s George Louis Beer Prize for the Best Book in International European History. Brown’s Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters appeared in 2013 with Oxford University Press. To read more about Kate Brown's new book Plutopia, see www.plutopia.net.
Co-sponsored with the Department of History and the Friends of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery
Prof. Brown will be introduced by Professor of History and Dean Emeritus John Jeffries