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What I’m Reading

I hope to keep this page updated with a list of works I am reading, planning to read, or have already read, with particular emphasis on relevant reading for my thesis project.

If you would like to see a list of works I used in my Spring JP, look here.

Please comment or e-mail me at if you have suggestions!

Primary Sources

Currently reading:

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban

V. by Thomas Pynchon

Recently (or not-so-recently) finished:

Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson

On the Beach (1959 film), Deterrence (1959 film), Them! (1954 film)

“Time Enough at Last,” The Twilight Zone, based on an eponymous short story by Lynn Venable

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

The Nuclear Age by Tim O’Brien

Nuke Chronicles: Writing and Art on Nuclear Devastation, Contact II Publications

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Underworld by Don DeLillo

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

“Doctor Strangelove,” directed by Stanley Kubrick

On the docket:

Doomsday Men by J. B. Priestley (1938)

The Public Burning by Robert Coover

End Zone by Don DeLillo

Some Cold War-era films, possibly including Invasion U.S.A. (1952), Kiss Me Deadly (1955), The Day the World Ended (1956), The Beginning or the End? (1947), The Beginning of the End (1957). If you know of a source for such movies on the Internet, please let me know.

Secondary Material

Currently Reading:

The Atomic Bomb and American Society: New Perspectives, ed. Rosemary B. Mariner and G. Kurt Piehler (2009)

The Holocaust of Texts by Amy Hungerford (2003)

Recently (or not-so-recently) finished:

Atomic Bomb Cinema by Jerome Shapiro (2002)

Nuclear Fear: A History of Images by Spencer R. Weart (1988)

“The Atomic Sublime” by Peter B. Hales (American Studies 1991).

Relevant essays in Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future: Art and Popular Culture Respond to the Bomb, ed. Robert Jacobs (2010)

Celluloid Mushroom Clouds: Hollywood and the Atomic Bomb by Joyce A. Evans (1998)

The Dragon’s Tail: Americans Face the Atomic Age by Robert A. Jacobs (2010)

Atomic Culture: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb ed. Scott C. Zeman and Michael A. Amundson (2004)

On the docket:

“In Case Atom Bombs Fall”: An Anthology of Governmental Explanations, Instructions and Warnings from the 1940s to the 1960s ed. Michael Scheibach (2009)

Film and the Nuclear Age: Representing Cultural Anxiety ed. Toni A. Perrine (1998)

Nukespeak: Nuclear Language, Visions, and Mindset by Stephen Hilgartner, Richard C. Bell and Rory O’Connor (1982)

The Fifties by David Halbertstam (1993)

One National Underground: The Fallout Shelter in American Culture by Kenneth D. Rose (2001)

The Imaginary War: Civil Defense and American Cold War Culture by Guy Oakes (1994)

The Nightmare Considered: Critical Essays on Nuclear War Literature, ed. Nancy Anisfield (1991)

Letter Bomb: Nuclear Holocaust and the Exploding Word by Peter Schwenger (1992)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2010 5:42 am


    I’ve finished the final draft of my biography of Kurt Vonnegut, which will be published by Henry Holt & Co. in fall 2011— too late for your thesis. But I’d be happy to share portions of it with you in the meantime. I’m not as strong a literary critic as you (I mean that seriously), but you might find parallels between Vonnegut’s life, books, and his times useful.

    All the best,

    Charles J. Shields

  2. Michael Greer permalink
    September 10, 2010 6:30 pm

    Justin: You should check out a post-nuclear videogame called Fallout 3! Really. And you may also want to look into the work of Manual De Landa, especially War in the Age of Intelligent Machines, and One Thousand Years of Nonlinear History. Both would fit nicely with your reading list and topics. M

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