Perils of Progress Environmental Disasters in the 20th Century

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-19
  • Publisher: Pearson

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The increasing pace and specialization of historical inquiry caused an ever-widening gap between professional research and general surveys of world history. The titles in the Connections series are designed to bridge that gap by placing the latest research, on selected topics of global significance into an easily accessible context for students. Brief and tightly focused, each Connections title examines cross-cultural themes by employing a combination, of narrative, documents, and analysis to show students connections in world history.

Author Biography

Dr. Andrew Jenks, an associate professor of history at California State University Long Beach, is a specialist in Russian history, history of technology, and environmental history. In addition to publishing numerous articles in scholarly publications on a range of topics, he has authored a book on Russian national identity,  Russia in a Box: Art and Identity in an Age of Revolution, Northern Illinois University Press, and is currently finishing a biography of the world's first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, The Cosmonaut Who Couldn't Stop Smiling: Yuri Gagarin and the Many Faces of Modern Russia, Northern Illinois University Press. Before receiving his Ph.D. in Russian history and history of technology from Stanford University in 2002, Jenks worked in the 1990s as a journalist and editor in Washington, D.C., where he covered NASA, EPA, secret military high-tech programs, and the emerging Internet business. He studied Russian language at the Pushkin Russian Language Institute in Moscow in the late 1980s, where he also worked as a translator in the Moscow CNN office. He also worked for six months on Soviet fishing boats in the Bering Sea.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vi
Series Editor's Prefacep. viii
About the Authorp. xiv
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Modernity's Pollution Problemsp. 2
Methodologyp. 4
The Four Horsemen of the Toxic Apocalypsep. 5
Common Themes to Considerp. 7
The Blame Gamep. 8
Conspiracy Theory and Historical Amnesiap. 10
The Moral Dimensionp. 11
The Minamata Disaster and the True Costs of Japanese Modernizationp. 13
Chisso Corporationp. 14
Disturbing Signsp. 16
Political and Cultural Obstaclesp. 17
Lifting the Veil of Silencep. 18
The Battle Rejoinedp. 20
Atomic Bombs, Godzilla, and the Culture of Victimizationp. 21
Seeking Justice Outside the Courtsp. 24
The Uniqueness of the Japanese Casep. 25
Minamata as a Global Eventp. 27
The Appeal to Emotionp. 28
A New Way to Calculate Progressp. 29
A Lingering Toxicityp. 31
Sourcesp. 33
Struggling with the Diseasep. 33
Those Who Remain Are Like Embersp. 35
The Confrontation at Goip. 37
"Let a Feather Drop Onto Their Heads....": The Chisso Corporation Defends Itselfp. 39
Love Canal and the Law of Unintended Consequencesp. 43
The Unspoken Bargainp. 45
The Bargain Re-evaluatedp. 48
Reports of Mysterious Substancesp. 49
Science in the Service of the Statep. 53
Long-Term Social and Political Effectsp. 57
"Revitalizing" the Communityp. 60
Sourcesp. 63
A Child's Deathp. 63
A Curious Tax Auditp. 65
Passing the Buckp. 66
And Who Was Responsible?p. 68
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy: A Perfect Storm of Injusticep. 70
India, Union Carbide, and the Green Revolutionp. 72
Complacencyp. 76
Corporate and Popular Responsesp. 78
Finger Pointingp. 82
The Legal Dramap. 83
A Silver Lining?p. 87
The Disaster Industryp. 88
Sourcesp. 91
Profit at All Costs?p. 91
Safety First?p. 94
A Medical Professional's Perspectivep. 96
A Grassroots Perspectivep. 102
The Controversy Continuesp. 104
The Techno-Politics of Disaster: Chernobyl and the Collapse of the Soviet Unionp. 106
Anatomy of an Accidentp. 108
Political Fallout and Historical Contextp. 111
Evacuationp. 115
The Blame Gamep. 117
Toward an Explanationp. 119
Casualties and Health Consequencesp. 121
Chernobyl after Chernobylp. 126
Sourcesp. 127
A Misfortune Has Befallen Usp. 127
The Western Nuclear-Power Industry Reactsp. 129
The Myth of Chernobyl?p. 131
Victims and Heroes: Voices from Chernobylp. 133
Epilogue: Making Connectionsp. 136
An Exception to the Rulep. 138
Language and Metaphorp. 139
Technological Transfers and the Web of Connectionsp. 140
The Cost-Benefit Calculus of Progressp. 141
Disasters as Cultural Mirrorsp. 143
Disaster Imaginationsp. 145
Bibliographyp. 148
Indexp. 156
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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