This magnificent opus, both impressive and stimulating, grew out of the author's long engagement with the topic. Her previous book, which focused on the history of France's nuclear industry, has attracted many readers from the STS community and beyond. Being Nuclear, the recipient of an award from the American Historical Association, is based on a huge compilation of primary documents and oral testimonies, some of which were collected fourteen years ago. If you love ethnologists' accounts of their fieldwork in jungles and remote islands, I suggest you start with the appendix. It traces Hecht's path from Madagascar to Gabon, Niger, Namibia, and South Africa as she was sometimes suspected of spying and refused access to “national security” records, and in other places handed the key to a room full of documents detailing a state's industrial secrets.

This study takes STS in...

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