Toronto Star: Birth of an 'indiscriminate weapon'
The Toronto Star's Olivia Ward interviewed CONELRAD editor and co-founder Bill Geerhart for her article on the birth of the Atomic Age and the continuing debate over the costs and benefits of nuclear weapons.
"Immediately after World War II, says Cold War expert Bill Geerhart, America enjoyed a "moment of euphoria" as a newborn, unchallenged superpower.
"The effect was to make us believe we were invincible. It was reflected in everything from music to merchandising, and all aspects of pop culture. Lots of businesses even changed their names to include the word `atomic,'" said Geerhart, a Los Angeles culture writer who co-founded the Internet site conelrad.com, devoted to popular culture of the Cold War era.
The perilous superpower contest quickly sobered the American public. "You could turn to two radio frequencies and find out what to do in case of an atomic attack," says Geerhart. "Fear and dread found their way into the popular culture, in films and songs."
The change in mood is audible in Conelrad's recently released music album Atomic Platters: Cold War Music From the Golden Age of Homeland Security, featuring such nostalgic titles as "Commie Lies" and "Fascist Threat."
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