At Work in the Fields of the Bomb

Photographs and Text by Robert Del Tredici; Introduction by Jonathan Schel

By Shirley Farlinger (reviewer)

At Work in the Fields of the Bomb, with over 100 black and white photographs, takes the reader on a visual trip of about one-third of the world's nuclear production plants. Included are pictures of bombs, portraits of victims, and aerial shots of mines and factories. For Canadians there are pictures of the Candu reactor in Darlington, the refinery in Blind River, drums of uranium hexaflouride at Port Hope, and Key Lake - the richest uranium mine on earth. The camera shifts from sites such as the Pantex Nuclear Weapons Final Assembly Plant in Texas to the only nuclear powered jet airplane engine, now obsolete. We glimpse the weapons bazaars held regularly in Ottawa for invited businessmen; a pretty smiling model poses with a Pershing II missile.

Most moving are portraits of victims like John Smitherman with his swollen hand, who later died of cancer. He was a veteran of "Operation Crossroads", the first atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific following WW II.

Each picture has a short text on the same page. For example, if it's a factory, the number of employees is listed, as is a description of the production process. An interview with the unrepentant Dr. Edward Teller matches his brooding portrait Pictures of Hiroshima are also provided, but they are small and unclear. The Hiroshima experience is a highlight of the book.

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Peace Magazine Jun-Jul 1988

Peace Magazine Jun-Jul 1988, page 25. Some rights reserved.

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