THE BOMB: Understanding Its History and the Hope for a Nuclear-Free Future
August 9, 2020
This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the Zoom platform. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom.
San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility in collaboration with City Lights Booksellers & Publishers present: A discussion with Fred Kaplan, James L Nolan Jr., Dr. Tova Fuller, and Dr. Robert Gould commemorating the 75th anniversary of the bombings that killed over 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
City Lights founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti has a special connection to these events. He was a naval commander serving during World War II, and one of few American soldiers to walk on Nagasaki shortly after the bombs were dropped. His experience changed his life and inspired him to start a bookstore with the motto, “Books Not Bombs.”
During this afternoon of discussion, we hope to assess the events of that time, their impact on the world, and where we stand now, facing the dawn of a new global nuclear arms race that compounds the climate and pandemic threats to human survival. At a time when the Nuclear Weapons States possess more than 13,000 nuclear weapons, we will focus on the manifold threats posed by new global programs to expand and modernize nuclear weapons arsenals, the rejection of arms control treaties, as well as the heightened great-power confrontation now accelerating in the Pacific region.
While we face our unfolding planetary emergencies, the profound “opportunity costs” of our government planning to spend more than $4 million an hour over the next 30 years to potentially annihilate countless millions of people is unfathomable.
Our speakers will also present alternative visions offered by the global movement to abolish nuclear weapons epitomized by the 2017 United Nations’ Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons, and the prospects for connecting this with wider popular movements seeking to transform our global priorities in the direction of climate, environmental, and social justice necessary for global survival.
Fred Kaplan is the national-security columnist for Slate and the author of five previous books, Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestseller), 1959, Daydream Believers, and The Wizards of Armageddon. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Brooke Gladstone.
James L. Nolan, Jr., is Washington Gladden 1859 Professor of Sociology at William’s College. His previous books include What They Saw in America: Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Weber, G. K. Chesterton, and Sayyid Qutb, and Reinventing Justice: The American Drug Court Movement.
Tova Fuller MD, PhD, is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Fuller serves as Vice President of the San Francisco Bay chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (SF Bay PSR) and has served on the national, Los Angeles chapter, and Washington PSR chapter boards. She was a member of PSR-LA’s nuclear ambassadors program and WPSR’s nuclear activism committee. Her primary area of interest is the interface between public health and militarism as it relates to nuclear weapons. She is the recipient of the Lown-Alexander-Sidel Award for Medical Advocacy.
Robert Gould, MD, is an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine where he is a Collaborator with the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE). Until 2012, Dr. Gould worked as a pathologist at Kaiser Hospital in San Jose, California. He has been President of San Francisco Bay PSR since 1989, and has been on the Board of National PSR since 1993, serving as President in 2003 and 2014. Dr. Gould is Chairperson of the American Public Health Association’s Peace Caucus, and also a leading member of the Environmental Committee of the Santa Clara County chapter of the California Medical Association (CMA). Dr. Gould has authored numerous book chapters on the health impacts of nuclear weapons, including War and Public Health (2007, Oxford University Press) and Terrorism and Public Health (2011, Oxford University Press), and was the co-author (with Thomas Bodenheimer) of Rollback! Right-wing Power in U.S. Foreign Policy (1989, South End Press).
Books will be available on the City Lights website and at Bookshop.org. Please support your neighborhood bookstore.
Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age
by James L. Nolan Jr. – published by Belknap/Harvard Press
A vital and vivid account of a largely unknown chapter in atomic history, Atomic Doctors is a profound meditation on the moral dilemmas that ordinary people face in extraordinary times. Atomic Doctors follows physicians as they sought to maximize the health and safety of those exposed to nuclear radiation, all the while serving leaders determined to minimize delays and maintain secrecy.
The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War
by Fred Kaplan – published by Simon & Schuster
From the author the classic The Wizards of Armageddon and Pulitzer Prize finalist comes the definitive history of American policy on nuclear war—and Presidents’ actions in nuclear crises—from Truman to Trump.