Published Date: June 23, 2009


$30.00

Overview

Nuclear power is a paradox of danger and salvation—how is it that the renewable energy source our society so desperately needs is the one we are most afraid to use?

The American public’s introduction to nuclear technology was manifested in destruction and death. With Hiroshima and the Cold War still ringing in our ears, our perception of all things nuclear is seen through the lens of weapons development. Nuclear power is full of mind-bending theories, deep secrets, and the misdirection of public consciousness, some deliberate, some accidental. The result of this fixation on bombs and fallout is that the development of a non-polluting, renewable energy source stands frozen in time.

It has been said that if gasoline were first used to make napalm bombs, we would all be driving electric cars. Our skewed perception of nuclear power is what makes James Mahaffey’s new look at the extraordinary paradox of nuclear power so compelling. From medieval alchemy to Marie curie, Albert Einstein, and the Manhattan Project, atomic science is far from the spawn of a wicked weapons program. The discovery that the atom can be split brought forth the ultimate puzzle of the modern age: Now that the energy of the universe is available to us, how do we use it? For death and destruction? Or as a fuel for our society that has minimal impact on the environment and future generations?

Outlining nuclear energy’s discovery and applications throughout history, Mahaffey’s brilliant and accessible book is essential to understanding the astounding phenomenon of nuclear power in an age where renewable energy and climate change have become the defining concerns of the twenty-first century.

From Publishers Weekly

Review

Author Information

Dr. James Mahaffey (Jim) holds a bachelor of science in physics and master of science and doctoral degrees in nuclear engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. During a 25-year career at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), he directed or worked on projects for the U. S. Defense Nuclear Agency, the U. S. National Ground Intelligence Center, the U. S. Air Force Air Logistics Center, Georgia Power Company, and other government and private industrial organizations, in such areas as nuclear power, non-linear analysis, digital systems design, and cold fusion. He directed a multi-million-dollar project at Georgia Power’s Plant Hatch to design and install a safety system after TMI. He left Georgia Tech to work in nanotechnology as Head of Advanced Research at Nanoventions Inc. in Roswell, Georgia, and later as Director of Technology for AIR2, a company with headquarters in Maryland. He is now a full-time writer and consultant. He has appeared on PBS NewsHour, on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Georgia Weekly,” and on numerous radio talk shows. Having lectured in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Ireland on various scientific topics related to his research, he is considered to be a skilled public speaker and is easy to understand, as well as entertaining.

Dr. Mahaffey’s first book, ATOMIC AWAKENING: A NEW LOOK AT THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF NUCLEAR POWER (Pegasus Books, New York, July 2009), received wide critical acclaim. It has enjoyed worldwide sales, and is also available in Chinese translation (Shanghai Science and Technology Literature Publishing House, 2011).

In 2011, Facts on File published Dr. Mahaffey’s six-volume reference set for high schools and colleges, on nuclear energy.

His second trade book, ATOMIC ACCIDENTS (Pegasus Books, New York) was released in February 2014, and received Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, positive reviews from Booklist and Nuclear Street, and was the lead book in a feature review in Nature. Both Scientific American Book Club and The History Book Club purchased rights to include the book as one of their selections.

His latest trade book, and the third in the nuclear series, ATOMIC ADVENTURES (Pegasus Books, New York) was released in June 2017. All three books have been translated into Japanese and are available as e-books. ADVENTURES received a favorable review in the Wall Street Journal as well as in other publications worldwide.

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