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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)
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).