Oct 20, 2015, 7:00 pm


Salt Lake City

Wasatch Front Region


Salt Lake City Public Library
210 E 400 S
Salt Lake City , UT 84111-2804
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Historian Sarah Alisabeth Fox visits the Salt Lake City Public Library (4th Floor Conference Room) to discuss her new book, Downwind: A People's History of the Nuclear West with KUED's Mary Dickson.

Downwind is an unflinching tale of the atomic West that reveals the intentional disregard for human and animal life through nuclear testing by the federal government and uranium extraction by mining corporations during and after the Cold War.

Sarah Alisabeth Fox highlights the personal cost of nuclear testing and uranium extraction in the American West through extensive interviews with “downwinders,” the Native American and non-Native residents of the Great Basin region affected by nuclear environmental contamination and nuclear-testing fallout. These downwinders tell tales of communities ravaged by cancer epidemics, farmers and ranchers economically ruined by massive crop and animal deaths, and Native miners working in dangerous conditions without proper safety equipment so that the government could surreptitiously study the effects of radiation on humans.

In chilling detail Downwind brings to light the stories and concerns of these groups whose voices have been silenced and marginalized for decades in the name of “patriotism” and “national security.”

With the renewed boom in mining in the American West, Fox’s look at this hidden history, unearthed from years of field interviews, archival research, and epidemiological studies, is a must-read for every American concerned about the fate of our western lands and communities.

Sarah Alisabeth Fox is a freelance writer and editor. Her articles and reviews have appeared in Montana, the Magazine of Western History and Western Historical Quarterly.

Mary Dickson is the Director of Creative Services at KUED Channel 7, the Utah PBS affiliate, a position she has held for the past 18 years. She oversees the station's community outreach, Web, promotions, publicity, media relations and advertising services and publishes the monthly program guide, Seven. She also is the on-air host of Contact, which airs weeknights on KUED. Her essay "Downwinders All" appears in the anthology Learning to Glow: A Nuclear Reader along with essays by Barbara Kingsolver and Terry Tempest-Williams. Her extended essay, "Living and Dying with Fallout" appeared in the June 2005 issue of the journal Dialogue, and received the journal's Best Article of the Year award. Her essays and poetry were included in the art exhibit, "Suffering in Silence" and "Modern Love" at Art Access Gallery. Her commentary, "Woman's Worst Fear," received the Vivian Castleberry Award from the National Association of Women Journalists. She has performed locally in "And the Banned Played On" with Plan B Theatre and "The Vagina Monologues" at Kingsbury Hall, both as fundraisers for Utah non-profits. She also performed her monologue, "Tea and Tulips" as part of "The Mommy Monologues" at the University of Utah.

This event is made possible with the support of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies and Utah Humanities.