This chapter presents a photo of J. Robert Oppenheimer, as well as the author’s mother and grandfather, in examining Ed Westcott’s photography concerning the Manhattan Project. His photographs stare out from history books about the bomb, and inside the neatly labeled binders in the Oak Ridge Room of the city’s public library as well as in the National Archives. His subject matter ranges from aerial shots of the land to depictions of the immaculate workspaces of the atomic factories, from workers loading slugs into the face of a reactor to housewives with ration tickets in line at the butcher shop. In addition, Westcott’s photographs can be considered as idealized and contrived depictions of an atomic utopia of order, efficiency, and the wholesome pleasures of mid-twentieth-century America.
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