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Posted by Timothy Hare <ArchitecturePortrait@webtv.net> I am new to the list. Does anyone have information about atomic scientists' call for dispersal of American cities following U.S. atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Dispersal was a campaign to permanently decentralize American cities before the USSR might acquire nuclear weapons to destroy, for the first time, an American city with only one bomb. A short-lived civil defense concept, dispersal was an idea that was rapidly outpaced in mid-1950s by the vast number and power of atomic weapons. No longer could there be hope to (simply) flee nuclear anhilation. A type of "burn your own barn" strategy, Dispersal was proposed on a city-wide and national scale. By the time the arms race heated up to outpace geographical escape from presumably-urban targets, the necessary political and economic strategies were in place to suburbanize the nation. The demolition of much former wealth of historic architecture in urban-America soon followed. The city-destroying Interstate Highway System was first touted by President Truman as a system of civil-defense highways. The call for Dispersal reflected (in the extreme) already growing anti-urban sentiment in the U.S. I discuss dispersal in Chapter 4 of my MA (History) thesis, titled "Decentralization of American Cities: Four Case Studies", East Srtoudsburg University, Pennsylvania, 1994. Useful references include: George Cooper Reinhardt, *American Strategy in the Atomic Age* (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1955). Edward Zuckerman, *The Day After World War III: the U.S. Government's Plans for Surviving a Nuclear War,* (New York: The Viking Press, 1984). Berthold Altmann and Harry Moskowitz, 'Dispersal - A Selected Reading List',*Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,* 7, no. 9 (1951): 280-84. Bruce E. Seely, *Building the American Highway System: Engineers as Policy Makers,* (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987). Dispersal was also discussed in various contemporary magazines and newspapers, including *Life* (27 Feb., 1950) 81 and December 1950, 77-83, 85-86; *New York Times* (16 Feb. 1946), 15;*Collier's* (5 Aug. 1950) 11-16, 60-69; and *Time* (28 Nov. 1949) 66. Timothy George Hare, R.A., M.A. 667 Ferry St. Easton, PA USA 18042-4423 Telephone: 610-258-0834 E-Mail: ArchitecturePortrait@webtv.net WebSites: http://www.silo.com/HARE http://geocities.com/SoHo/7708/