Atomic Angst: Remembering the Last Year in Which Nuclear War Shook Us

Steven Church and I have a few things in common.  We were both shaped by the flat, small-town environments that provided the backdrop for our respective childhoods: Lawrence, Kansas for Church, the Central Valley's Modesto, California for me.  We both identify as children of the 1980s.  And we were both freaked out by nuclear war in 1983. Church had greater reason to freak than I did, since the area of the Midwest that he called home got nuked on television that year.  An English professor at Cal State Fresno, Church recounts watching the production in Lawrence of the made-for-TV drama The Day After for his 2010 memoir, The Day After The Day After: My Atomic Angst.  Other events in Lawrence around that time made him a particularly anxious adolescent, not the least of which was the divorce of his parents.  Yet The Day After is the dramatic center of Church's recollection, and his book is an engaging reminder of just how terrifying growing up during the...(Read Full Article)