An associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Michael S. Green specializes in nineteenth-century politics and the American West. His works on the Civil War era include Freedom, Union, and Power: Lincoln and His Party during the Civil War (2004); Politics and America in Crisis: The Coming of the Civil War (2010); and Lincoln and the Election of 1860 (2011). His books on Nevada include Las Vegas: A Centennial History (2005), with Eugene Moehring, and Nevada: A History of the Silver State (2015). A recipient of the American Historical Association's Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award, he is also on the board of directors of Las Vegas's nationally known and highly respected Mob Museum. He serves as the executive director of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association and the director of Preserve Nevada, the state's only statewide historic preservation organization.
Nevada was the site of about 100 aboveground atomic tests from 1951 to 1963, followed by nearly 30 years of underground tests at the Nevada Test Site. Not only was this a key component of Cold War defense policy, but Nevada also turned the mushroom cloud into a tourist attraction and local symbol, with a variety of effects. This lecture examines how Nevada marketed the atomic bomb, along with how the state fit into the Cold War and McCarthyism, including battles involving its powerful U.S. Senator, Pat McCarran, and a newspaper publisher whose attacks on McCarthy and McCarran predated those of more famous national critics.