Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story, At Hanford, the real estate is hot.
Nuclear Culture: Living and Working in the World's Largest Atomic Complex, by Paul Loeb, 1986, New Society Publishers.
Loeb looks at the nation's largest nuclear weapons complex through the eyes of the people working there and details how they grappled with, ignored or buried the dangers of working with plutonium. It is often called the first major work to be published on Hanford.
On the Home Front: The Cold War Legacy of the Hanford Nuclear Site, by Michele Stenehjem Gerber, 1992, University of Nebraska Press.
This comprehensive history of Hanford, including its geology and pre-bomb history, details nuclear reactor construction and the release of radioactive pollution. Gerber is staff historian for the division of Westinghouse Corp. that acts as the private contractor overseeing the nuclear reservation for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the Lethal Toll of America's Nuclear Arsenal, by Michael D'Antonio, 1993, Crown Publishers, Inc.
The newest and one of the most readable books about Hanford tells the story of the deception of and damage to people who lived downwind of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The story is woven around Tom Bailie, a Mesa-area farmer and one of the first people to raise hell about what Hanford had done to people. The book also encompasses important players, from Spokesman-Review reporter Karen Dorn Steele, who is writing her own Hanford book, to whistleblowing safety inspector Casey Ruud and others. D'Antonio, who finds Hanford a "bitterly ironic" legacy of the arms race, argues that our nuclear weapons ended up harming us instead of staving off harm.
Legend and Legacy: Fifty Years of Defense Production at the Hanford Site, by M.S. Gerber, 1992. U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management; Westinghouse Hanford Company, Richland, Washington.
While it offers details on site selection, construction, and site pollution, the booklet is self-congratulatory and mute on the subject of radiation exposure experiments on unknowing subjects.