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Keywords

Atomic bomb – Testing; Atomic Testing Museum (Las Vegas, Nev.); Cold War; Historical museums; Nevada – Area 51; Nevada – Nevada Test Site; Nevada – Nye County; Nuclear weapons – Testing

Abstract

The Atomic Testing Museum attempts to interpret history that has barely ended. The controversy and emotion that surround nuclear weapons remain fresh in many Americans‘ minds. The museum must walk a careful line when interpreting such recent history. Few other American history museums offer interpretation of the Cold War, and certainly, the Atomic Testing Museum stands as the sole museum dedicated to atomic testing. As years go by, and the memory of the mushroom cloud floating on the Nevada desert fades, the museum may feel more comfortable in providing a balanced narrative on atomic testing. For now, as retired "Cold Warriors" from the Nevada Test Site hold the interpretive keys, the museum offers a narrow, one-sided approach to an important topic in American history.


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