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Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade Hardcover – March 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (March 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262017261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262017268
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Gabrielle Hecht's Being Nuclear is a monumental new study of the geopolitics of uranium. It profoundly shifts how we think about things marked 'nuclear,' underscoring the complex historical and technopolitical work embedded in any use of the term. Beautifully written and meticulously researched -- a major contribution.

(Joseph Masco, University of Chicago; author of The Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico)

This impassioned, broad-ranging, and beautifully written book puts the bodies of ordinary people at the very center of a sweeping study of the geopolitics and cultural anxieties that surround all things nuclear. Being Nuclear reorients the study of occupational health by calling attention to vital questions of knowledge production, activism, and governance in a postcolonial world.

(Steven Epstein, Professor of Sociology and John C. Shaffer Professor in the Humanities, Northwestern University; author of Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research)

Being Nuclear is nothing short of pathbreaking. Hecht's analysis of the techno-politics of African uranium production presents a critical and convincing rethinking of the global nuclear order. This is a very smart book, based on daunting and original research, on a topic of genuine importance.

(Julie Livingston, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University)

Hecht has written the first history of nuclear Africa which, given the importance of the subject and the obstacles she faced, is a major achievement.

(Jock McCulloch, Journal of African History)

Not only does the book stand out as one of the most comprehensive attempts to study the history of uranium mining in Africa, it also caters to an expansive academic audience -- from historians of science and technology and sociologists and anthropologists of science, to those taking a broader interest in labour rights, public health issues and mining corporations.

(Jayita Sarkar The British Journal for the History of Science)

About the Author

Gabrielle Hecht is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II (MIT Press).

More About the Author

Gabrielle Hecht (b. 1965, Puerto Rico) is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. She writes and teaches about the history and anthropology of technology, and about modern Africa. Her recent book, Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade, was awarded the American Historical Association's Martin Klein Prize in African history, the American Sociological Association's Robert Merton Prize, and the Susanne Glasscock Humanities Book Prize, as well as an Honorable Mention for the African Studies Association's Herskovits Prize. Her first monograph, The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity, was awarded the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize in European History and the Edelstein Prize in the History of Technology. Hecht has been a visiting scholar at universities in South Africa, the Netherlands, Norway, and France.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elaine on July 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Hecht's newest book, BEING NUCLEAR: AFRICANS AND THE GLOBAL URANIUM TRADE, is thoroughly researched, and becomes a fascinating, knowledge rich read for even a layman. It is daring and informative, and confronts real life issues and their consequences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Hart on January 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a very well written book about the sourcing of Uranium from African countries for use in both nuclear weapons and power plants. The author does this by telling the story of the Uranium mines in Gabon, Congo (Zaire), Niger, and South Africa. The second half of the book focuses on describing the bad labor conditions in the mines; the first establishes a line of argumentation about “nuclearity” – which is an historically contingent concept that relates developments in the Cold War and later the post September 11 world to the way people think about the uranium deposits in Africa. The author provides particularly interesting insights about how the “market” for uranium developed. She highlights the importance of the dual-use nature of uranium and the limited visibility of the trade in uranium for weapons use. The book provides useful background for understanding the defense of the apartheid regime in South Africa by Britain and the United States and attempts by the administration of George W. Bush to justify the war in Iraq in 1993 by citing transfers of “yellow cake” from Niger as evidence of the resumption of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This work is an absolute essential not only when attempting to discover integral facts about the uranium trade in Africa, but to illuminate the history of uranium and its status as either a nuclear or banal commodity. From investigating the nebulous ways in which this ore was initially priced to revealing the ways in which its 'nuclearity' and health hazards were ambiguously or opaquely handled, especially in the light of Africa's invisibilty in neocolonial eyes, I believe the truth of the history of the uranium trade should be standard knowledge for all, and, especially for those who truly wish to examine the past, present and future of the nuclear industry. If so much of the inner workings of this trade have been hidden from the general public, how then should the general public be willing to place its faith in the reassurances of those who propose the ultimate safety and ethical soundness of this as a power source.
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0 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Marklin Alford on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very boring -Looking for Physics of Nuclear make up Not easy to to follow --Not exciting //
To political in Nature
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