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Longing for the BombOak Ridge and Atomic Nostalgia$
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Lindsey A. Freeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622378

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622378.001.0001

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Brahms and Bombs on the Atomic Frontier

Brahms and Bombs on the Atomic Frontier

(p.37) Chapter Two Brahms and Bombs on the Atomic Frontier
Longing for the Bomb

Lindsey A. Freeman

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses two interlocking tropes that are primarily used to describe the city’s early construction and design: the frontier and the utopia. The frontier trope refers to the Oak Ridgers’ use of narratives as the latest version of a national pioneering tradition to create a “symbolic continuity” with the traditional American pioneer myth. Meanwhile, the utopian trope refers to the notion of Oak Ridge as the capital of a new Atomic Appalachia, a place fulfilling its atomic manifest destiny as predicted by John Hendrix. The two imaginations do not compete so much as nestle alongside and within each other. They are also not unique to the former secrets of the atomic city of Oak Ridge as well as the characteristics of other regional and national myths.

Keywords:   tropes, frontier trope, utopian trope, Oak Ridge, Atomic Appalachia

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