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We Almost Lost Detroit Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 1976


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Illustrated. edition (September 12, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345252667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345252661
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Glows by night on February 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Granted the book is a bit sensational - then again I lived in Detroit at that time and you can bet I would have been hyper-ventilating had I known the China Syndrome was potentiating less than 60 miles away.

Here's the key point: if this was such an itty-bitty bang why was it NEVER mentioned until this book was published?

Rancho Seco, Celilo Village, the Hanford site, 3-mile Island, the USS Thresher -- all nuclear events that blew up in the press for days or weeks - yet NEVER CALLED FORTH A SINGLE MENTION OF FERMI #1.

Sounds like a cover-up to me - and the casual mention that 'a little bit of the core melted' is no small matter - if a little melts, a lot is not far behind and Bang! There goes Detroit!

Worth a read? Yeah. Worth paying attention to the neighborhood, too.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Morbius on October 7, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found a paperback copy of this book in a used bookstore recently. While Fuller was a masterful storyteller, his science was shoddy which renders this book largely an exercise in "what if" thrill seeking and fear mongering. As in: What if radiation from U.S. and French H-bomb tests in the Pacific really mutated a never-before-known sea monster on the scale of Godzilla? What then, we ask, would have happened to downtown Tokyo when the monster came ashore? Recall the author's popular, bestselling book "The Interrupted Journey"? It supported Betty and Barney Hill's alleged 1961 alien abduction claims as revealed under hypnosis. Need we say more about Mr. Fuller's credibility as a skilled science writer? The author here prefers to focus on wild "what ifs" of a nuclear power plant accident that didn't even affect an area outside of the massive concrete containment structure of the Enrico Fermi Power Station. Ok, the reactor damage here was significant, but the breeder reactor as designed and described in the book could never have reached critical mass to explode like a nuclear bomb; not even close. The claim by the author is bogus and physically impossible. Fuller did not have any academic background in nuclear physics because in the case of this 1966 incident at Fermi 1, the engineered-in safety systems worked as designed, just as they did at Three Mile Island 13 years later. There's no need for handwringing of what might have happened or need to cite Chernobyl or Fukishima (those were two very different reactor design types with two very different accident scenarios as played out). Yes, we almost lost Detroit, but it was far more recently than the year 1966. Blame Detroit's near miss not on a "what if" core meltdown scenario, but rather on the "meltdown" of mismanagement--malfeasance and crony politics that can be traced right back to Detroit's legacy of corrupt and partisan city officials.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a sobering story about industry getting one over on the government and the public. If you though Chernobyl was first you need to read this story. Makes Three Mile Island seem benign in retrospect. The writing is a bit dry but the facts are the facts. Just like any mishap it does not happen overnight. Years of not looking critically and hoping a solution in the future to today's dilemma nearly took Detroit out in a nuclear mishap in the 1960's.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TLR on August 10, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Suspenseful and powerful. One of those books (like Jules Archer's "The Plot to Seize the White House") that should have been made into a great film, but never was. Here's the first paragraph from chapter 1:

"The phone call came in sometime in the mid-afternoon of Wednesday, October 5, 1966. The exact time is not recorded, because it was never entered officially on the log of the sheriff of Monroe County, Michigan. Sheriff Charles Harrington, known as Bud, a lanky man with a lean, craggy face, received it. An unidentified voice on the other end of the line spoke sharply and briefly, saying it was Detroit Edison calling-the major utility company in southeastern Michigan. There was something wrong at the new Enrico Fermi Atomic Power Plant, which Detroit Edison operated at Lagoona Beach just a handful of miles away from the town of Monroe. The cause of the problem was uncertain, but the caller said that the situation should not be publicized, that no public alert should be given. More information would follow."
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Elder Statesman Doctor on June 12, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really don't understand why so many people gave this a low rating, don't they care about ceasing to exist? Don't they care if all future generations are degraded genetically because we keep allowing our big bloated corporations to rule us, to control us, to make life and death decisions about us without telling us the truth about what they are doing to our environment, our food and our water? This book is a good expose of how corporations (although it's not written specifically to slam corporations) will screw things up if allowed to decide how to earn money no matter what the risks to others. One other reviewer mentioned how no one heard of this until this book came out, good point, it apparently was covered up quite well, until this writer investigated and exposed the story. This should be required reading for all science majors & all business majors!
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