Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
“Anyone who has ever wondered what the neighborhood geek might be brewing up in his backyard should read The Radioactive Boy Scout. This is a riveting and disturbing story about the power of the teenage mind—and the sparks that fly when a nuclear family melts down.”
—David Kushner, author of Masters of Doom
“Amazing . . . unsettling . . . should come with a warning: Don’t buy [this book] for any obsessive kids in the family. It might give them ideas.”
–Rocky Mountain News
“An astounding story . . . [Silverstein] has a novelist’s eye for meaningful detail and a historian’s touch for context.”
–The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Alarming . . . The story fascinates from start to finish.”
“Enthralling . . . [It] has the quirky pleasures of a Don DeLillo novel or an Errol Morris documentary. . . . An engaging portrait of a person whose life on America’s fringe also says something about mainstream America.”
–Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[Silverstein] does a fabulous job of letting David [Hahn’s] surrealistic story tell itself. . . . But what’s truly amazing is how far Hahn actually got in the construction of his crude nuclear reactor.”
–The Columbus Dispatch
Growing up in suburban Detroit, David Hahn was fascinated by science, and his basement experiments—building homemade fireworks, brewing moonshine, and concocting his own self-tanning lotion—were more ambitious than those of other boys. While working on his Atomic Energy badge for the Boy Scouts, David's obsessive attention turned to nuclear energy. Throwing caution to the wind, he plunged into a new project: building a nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard garden shed.
In The Radioactive Boy Scout, veteran journalist Ken Silverstein recreates in brilliant detail the months of David's improbable nuclear quest. Posing as a physics professor, David solicited information on reactor design from the U.S. government and from industry experts. (Ironically, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was his number one source of information.) Scavenging antiques stores and junkyards for old-fashioned smoke detectors and gas lanterns—both of which contain small amounts of radioactive material—and following blueprints he found in an outdated physics textbook, David cobbled together a crude device that threw off toxic levels of radiation. His unsanctioned and wholly unsupervised project finally sparked an environmental catastrophe that put his town's forty thousand residents at risk and caused the EPA to shut down his lab and bury it at a radioactive dumpsite in Utah.
An outrageous account of ambition and, ultimately, hubris that sits comfortably on the shelf next to such offbeat science books as Driving Mr. Albert and stories of grand capers like Catch Me If You Can, The Radioactive Boy Scout is a real-life adventure with the narrative energy of a first-rate thriller.
From the Hardcover edition.
This is such a interesting book
A little about the subject of the book.
David Charles Hahn also called the "Radioactive Boy Scout" or the "Nuclear Boy... Read more
I like this book.
It should not be shelved in the children's section of public libraries. I've told them this, but to no avail. Read more
I first heard about this book on NPR a few years ago and the concept sounded very interesting!
I picked this up at my local library after they finally got a copy of it... Read more
Awesome book- should be a movie or a really cool TV series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I do recommend.Published 18 months ago by Petra
The young man in this book used is desire and love for science to push the limits of his knoweledge, he deffinatley showed the science community what could be done if one tries... Read morePublished 21 months ago by charles riley
This book started out promising but the author did not tell the reader that much about David Hahn, and instead Silverstein put way too many of his own opinions about nuclear power... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Just the facts.
Although this story revolves around how a teenager nearly built a nuclear reactor in his back yard, there is more to the story that Silverstein wants us to find out. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Anh Nguyen
This is an interesting story, a book I couldn't put down. I've given the book to a few people as a gift as well and everyone seems to really enjoy it. Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Traveling Hobo