This is a firsthand account of a bomb factory's impact on small town life in South Carolina. First published in 1971, grade school teacher Louise Cassels' poignant memoir recounts the displacement of the residents of Ellenton, South Carolina, in the early 1950s to make way for the massive Savannah River Plant, a critical cold-war nuclear weapons facility. In late 1950, amid escalating cold-war tensions, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission announced plans to construct facilities to produce plutonium and tritium for use in hydrogen bombs. One such facility, the SRP, was built at a cost of $1.3 billion at a site that encompassed more than 315 square miles in South Carolina's Barnwell, Allendale, and Aiken counties. Some fifteen hundred families residing in small communities within the new plant's borders were forced to leave their homes. The largest of the affected towns was Ellenton, with a population of 760 residents. Detailing the period of evacuation and resettlement, ""The Unexpected Exodus"" recalls the dramatic personal consequences of the cold war on the South through the narrative of one uprooted family. Cassels touches on such enduring historical themes as southerners' sense of place and antipathy toward the federal government as she struggles to maintain equilibrium through life-changing circumstances. Throughout the text her extreme pride and patriotism are set against profound feelings of bitterness and loss. Frederickson's new introduction to this edition places Cassels' compelling tale against the historical backdrop of the cold war's impact on the South, a history often lost in the shadow of more widely read civil-rights narratives from the same era.
Series: Southern Classics
Number Of Pages: 148
Published: 1st September 2007
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.89 x 16.13 x 1.04
Weight (kg): 0.22