Downwind: A People's History of the Nuclear West is an unflinching tale of the atomic West that reveals the intentional disregard for human and animal life through nuclear testing by the federal government and uranium extraction by mining corporations during and after the Cold War.
Sarah Alisabeth Fox highlights the personal cost of nuclear testing and uranium extraction in the American West through extensive interviews with “downwinders,” the Native American and non-Native residents of the Great Basin region affected by nuclear environmental contamination and nuclear-testing fallout. These downwinders tell tales of communities ravaged by cancer epidemics, farmers and ranchers economically ruined by massive crop and animal deaths, and miners working in dangerous conditions without proper safety equipment so that the government could surreptitiously study the effects of radiation on humans.
Historian Sarah Alisabeth Fox visits Utah State University Monday, October 19th, to discuss her new book, Downwind: A People's History of the Nuclear West, an unflinching tale of the atomic West that reveals the history of nuclear testing by the federal government and uranium extraction by mining corporations during and after the Cold War. This event is open to the public and is sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council, USU Department of History, and the Western Historical Quarterly.
Sarah Fox is a Seattle author, folk historian, mother and waitress. She holds a Master’s Degree in History and Folklore from Utah State University and a Bachelors Degree in American Studies from the Evergreen State College. Her work has appeared in Montana: The Magazine of Western History, the Western Historical Quarterly, and Sunspace. Her first book, Downwind: A People’s History of the Nuclear West, was published by University of Nebraska Press in November 2014.
Sarah continues to gather testimonies documenting the experiences of American Westerners living with the impacts of radiological exposure. She speaks on Downwind regularly to students, community groups, book clubs, and nonprofits, and teaches workshops on her methodology as a writer and folk historian.