History

The NASW bookstore sells books, music, video, software, and other merchandise via Amazon.com. Every purchase you make on Amazon can support NASW programs and services: Just go to https://www.nasw.org/amazon when you start your shopping. Books featured below were written by NASW members or reviewed in ScienceWriters magazine. Appearance here does not indicate endorsement.

Apocalypse Factory

Steve Olson

The atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, August 9, 1945, contained nuclear material manufactured at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington State. Histories of the Manhattan Project and the Cold War generally neglect Hanford, an oversight Steve Olson, who grew up in the nearby town of Othello, aims to correct in "The Apocalypse Factory: Plutonium and the Making of the Atomic Age."

The Clock and the Camshaft

John W. Farrell

Although nailing a bent strip of iron to a horse’s hoof dates to Roman times, widespread use of horseshoes arose only at the end of the 800s. Horseshoes provided better traction and boosted draft horses’ endurance, helping foster greater agricultural productivity, John Farrell reports in The Clock and the Camshaft and Other Medieval Inventions We Still Can’t Live Without.

Bitten

Kris Newby

Having experienced persistent effects of a tick bite, Kris Newby helped create the 2009 Lyme documentary, Under Our Skin. In 2013, she learned scientist Willy Burgdorfer, who had identified the Lyme disease-causing bacterium, attributed Lyme’s initial outbreak to a bioweapons release. Her book Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons explores that astonishing claim.

Burning the Sky

Mark Wolverton

In the late 1950s, during the Cold War, the U.S. secretly conducted high-altitude atomic bomb tests, aiming to create a radiation shield to block incoming warheads. New York Times reporters pierced the veil of secrecy, raising safety and moral concerns relevant today, Mark Wolverton relates in Burning the Sky: Operation Argus and the Untold Story of the Cold War Nuclear Tests in Outer Space.

David A. Taylor

In 1940, as German U-boats blocked ships attempting Atlantic crossings, a 15-alarm blaze at Baltimore’s Crown Cork and Seal factory consumed nine acres of baled cork, a sealant crucial to the defense industry. Was the fire caused by Nazi sabotage? In Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II, David Taylor describes this event and its impact on the lives of three men and their families

Simson L. Garfinkel and Rachel H. Grunspan

A 1970 Monty Python sketch in which a group of Vikings chant “spam, spam…” to overwhelm conversation around them sparked use of “spam” for unsolicited email. JPEG stands for the “joint photographic experts group” that devised the now standard way to compress images. In The Computer Book, Simson Garfinkel and Rachel Grunspan provide backstories for 250 seminal events in the history of computing.

Betsy Mason & Greg Miller

In 1680, an English pirate captured a Spanish ship near Panama, neglecting a trove of unrefined silver but seizing an atlas of Pacific Ocean sailing charts and maps. On receiving it, King Charles II of England made him a captain in the Royal Navy. Betsy Mason and Greg Miller recount this and dozens of other fascinating tales in All Over the Map, illuminating worlds both real and imagined.

Mark A. Marchand

US Route 1, the nation’s first highway, runs the entire length of the East Coast. Long bypassed by the interstate highway system, it’s still used by millions of people every day, and ranges from two-lane divided highways to narrow crooked roads. In U.S. Route 1: Rediscovering the New World, Mark A. Marchand explores the character of communities and geographical challenges that determined its path.