The Missile Next Door by Gretchen Heefner audiobook

The Missile Next Door: The Minuteman in the American Heartland

By Gretchen Heefner
Read by Susan Boyce

Blackstone Publishing 9780674059115
8.43 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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Between 1961 and 1967 the United States Air Force buried onethousand Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles in pastures across theGreat Plains. The Missile Next Door tells the story of how ruralAmericans of all political stripes were drafted to fight the Cold War by livingwith nuclear missiles in their backyards—and what that story tells us aboutenduring political divides and the persistence of defense spending. By scattering the missiles in out-of-the-way places, theDefense Department kept the chilling calculus of Cold War nuclear strategy outof view. This subterfuge was necessary, Gretchen Heefner argues, in order forAmericans to accept a costly nuclear buildup and the resulting threat ofArmageddon. As for the ranchers, farmers, and other civilians in the Plainsstates who were first seduced by the economics of war and then forced to livein the Soviet crosshairs, their sense of citizenship was forever changed. Somewere stirred to dissent. Others consented but found their proud Plainsindividualism giving way to a growing dependence on the military-industrialcomplex. Even today, some communities express reluctance to let the Minutemengo, though the Air Force no longer wants them buried in the heartland. Complicating a red state / blue state reading ofAmerican politics, Heefner’s account helps to explain the deep distrust ofgovernment found in many western regions and also an addiction to defensespending which, for many local economies, seems inescapable.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014

Between 1961 and 1967 the United States Air Force buried onethousand Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles in pastures across theGreat Plains. The Missile Next Door tells the story of how ruralAmericans of all political stripes were drafted to fight the Cold War by livingwith nuclear missiles in their backyards—and what that story tells us aboutenduring political divides and the persistence of defense spending.

By scattering the missiles in out-of-the-way places, theDefense Department kept the chilling calculus of Cold War nuclear strategy outof view. This subterfuge was necessary, Gretchen Heefner argues, in order forAmericans to accept a costly nuclear buildup and the resulting threat ofArmageddon. As for the ranchers, farmers, and other civilians in the Plainsstates who were first seduced by the economics of war and then forced to livein the Soviet crosshairs, their sense of citizenship was forever changed. Somewere stirred to dissent. Others consented but found their proud Plainsindividualism giving way to a growing dependence on the military-industrialcomplex. Even today, some communities express reluctance to let the Minutemengo, though the Air Force no longer wants them buried in the heartland.

Complicating a red state / blue state reading ofAmerican politics, Heefner’s account helps to explain the deep distrust ofgovernment found in many western regions and also an addiction to defensespending which, for many local economies, seems inescapable.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Impressive…Heefner’s deftly constructed and accessible narrative of this troubling period illustrates how war became a way of life in the mid-twentieth century.” Publishers Weekly
“This short book uses a wide range of sources to great effect. American history buffs, especially of the impact of national programs on ordinary lives, and those concerned with the military-industrial complex, will enjoy.” Library Journal
“Heefner expertly examines the players in this ghastly game…Heefner’s dispassionate and engrossing prose manages to raise both reasonable and troubling questions. An important look at a militarized America and the costs of this transformation.” Kirkus Reviews
“Heefner makes a significant contribution to the growing genre of new military history, adeptly describing how the Defense Department made the strategic and political decision to scatter Minuteman missile silos across the Plains and the upper West…Her wonderfully written and well-researched work draws from across the historical spectrum; cultural, social, military, and environmental historians, in particular, will find value in her effort.” Choice
“No other work tells the story of the Minuteman as effectively or as eloquently as The Missile Next Door. Heefner consciously and impressively speaks to two distinct and rarely intertwined literatures: Cold War military strategy and technology and the environmental history of the American West. She admirably demonstrates that the missile’s development and deployment offer a unique lens through which to view the broader themes of the Cold War.” Jeffrey A. Engel, author of Cold War at 30,000 Feet
“A haunting and intensely personal story about Cold War America’s decision to place ICBMs in the Great Plains. Heefner introduces us to the individuals, families, and communities who lived with the cataclysmic potential of nuclear deterrence, and she untangles the complicated relationships they forged with the federal government and the missiles buried in their backyards. Offering compelling prose and analysis, The Missile Next Door is destined to become a classic in Western and Cold War home-front history.” David Rich Lewis, author of Neither Wolf nor Dog
The Missile Next Door is one of the most important books to be written about the history of rural America after World War II. Heefner reveals how the stories of rural residents of the Great Plains can be integral to the history of the nation but remain ignored in its retelling. We can now see that rural people in American West were on the front line of the Cold War.” Catherine McNicol Stock, author of Rural Radicals
“In this fascinating account, Heefner vigorously argues for the central place of military defense in postwar American life. And she takes us into the very American heartland to tell her story. There, under the Great Plains, a thousand Minuteman missiles stood quietly at attention in their silos. The Missile Next Door reveals how they got there, what they were designed to do, and how they forever changed the nation. This book truly brings the Cold War home.” William Deverell, author of Whitewashed Adobe

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Gretchen Heefner

Author Bio: Gretchen Heefner

Gretchen Heefner is an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 8.43
Audience: Adult
Language: English