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y separately published work icon Atomic Thunder : The Maralinga Story single work   prose  
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Atomic Thunder : The Maralinga Story
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'In September 2016 it will be 60 years since the first British mushroom cloud rose above the plain at Maralinga in South Australia. The atomic weapons test series wreaked havoc on Indigenous communities and turned the land into a radioactive wasteland.

In 1950 Australian prime minister Robert Menzies blithely agreed to atomic tests that offered no benefit to Australia and relinquished control over them – and left the public completely in the dark. This book reveals the devastating consequences of that decision. After earlier tests at Monte Bello and Emu Field, in 1956 Australia dutifully provided 3200 square kilometres of South Australian desert to the British Government, along with logistics and personnel.

How could a democracy such as Australia host another country’s nuclear program in the midst of the Cold War? In this meticulously researched and shocking work, journalist and academic Elizabeth Tynan reveals how Australia allowed itself to be duped. Maralinga was born in secret atomic business, and has continued to be shrouded in mystery decades after the atomic thunder stopped rolling across the South Australian test site. This book is the most comprehensive account of the whole saga, from the time that the explosive potential of splitting uranium atoms was discovered, to the uncovering of the extensive secrecy around the British tests in Australia many years after the British had departed, leaving an unholy mess behind.' (Publisher's blurb)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: NewSouth Publishing , 2016 .
      image of person or book cover 211827771704390652.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 384p.
      Note/s:
      • Published December 1st 2016
      ISBN: 9781742234281 (pbk), 1742234283 (pbk)

Other Formats

  • Also large print.

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon [Review] Atomic Thunder: The maralinga Story Maggie Brady , 2017 21937609 2017 single work review
— Review of Atomic Thunder : The Maralinga Story Elizabeth Tynan , 2016 single work prose

'This is a highly readable account of the history and consequences of the British nuclear testing program in Australia – primarily the minor and major trials at Maralinga, South Australia, and the 1985 royal commission investigation and findings. Tynan’s closest competitor, Robert Milliken’s No Conceivable Injury: The Story of Britain and Australia’s Atomic Cover-up, was published in 1986 and was thus unable to cover subsequent scandals associated with the tests, the more recent reviews of veterans’ claims and entitlements, the 2003 Maralinga Rehabilitation Technical Advisory Committee (MARTAC) report on the studies of the test site ‘clean-up’, and even the involvement of Wikileaks. Tynan addresses these developments with aplomb, and while her book covers much of the same ground as Milliken, Atomic Thunder has immediacy and verve, while successfully weaving in a huge amount of complex material. One chapter out of 12 deals with the impact of the tests on Aboriginal people: the Western Desert groups who moved between Warburton, Ernabella, Cundeelee, Ooldea and Lake Phillipson near Coober Pedy.'

y separately published work icon [Review] Atomic Thunder: The maralinga Story Maggie Brady , 2017 21937609 2017 single work review
— Review of Atomic Thunder : The Maralinga Story Elizabeth Tynan , 2016 single work prose

'This is a highly readable account of the history and consequences of the British nuclear testing program in Australia – primarily the minor and major trials at Maralinga, South Australia, and the 1985 royal commission investigation and findings. Tynan’s closest competitor, Robert Milliken’s No Conceivable Injury: The Story of Britain and Australia’s Atomic Cover-up, was published in 1986 and was thus unable to cover subsequent scandals associated with the tests, the more recent reviews of veterans’ claims and entitlements, the 2003 Maralinga Rehabilitation Technical Advisory Committee (MARTAC) report on the studies of the test site ‘clean-up’, and even the involvement of Wikileaks. Tynan addresses these developments with aplomb, and while her book covers much of the same ground as Milliken, Atomic Thunder has immediacy and verve, while successfully weaving in a huge amount of complex material. One chapter out of 12 deals with the impact of the tests on Aboriginal people: the Western Desert groups who moved between Warburton, Ernabella, Cundeelee, Ooldea and Lake Phillipson near Coober Pedy.'

Atomic Thunder by Liz Tynan Samuel Wratten , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Etropic , vol. 16 no. 2 2017;

'Between 1956 and 1963, the British government tested seven nuclear weapons on Australian soil, along with hundreds of minor tests that contaminated the land and exposed local communities to dangerous levels of radiation. They did so largely under a veil of secrecy, and it was decades before the Australian government moved to compensate affected remote Indigenous communities. Atomic Thunder tells the story of how a legacy of nuclear testing changed the face of Australia in the aftermath of the Second World War. The book traces the history of the British A-Bomb tests at Maralinga and Monte Bello from early research into the secrets of the atom through to the repercussions Australians faced for allowing the British to act unchecked on their land. Atomic Thunder skilfully untangles the history of nuclear testing in Australia by uncovering the stories of the people who helped to develop such devastating weaponry, the people who should have been holding them to account and those who suffered due to the lack of oversight. Liz Tynan exposes the many individuals and groups who failed to stand up for the interests of Australia by holding the British government in check. Tynan's skill as a journalist is apparent in her ability to take her readers seamlessly through the different stages of the Australian nuclear tests right through to the present while uncovering the stories of the people involved.' (Introduction)

[Review Essay] Atomic Thunder. The Maralinga Story Denis Cryle , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Politics & History , March vol. 63 no. 1 2017; (p. 146–147)
'This highly readable book deals definitively with an important yet neglected topic in post-war British-Australian relations. In part this neglect was due to the secrecy surrounding nuclear testing in post-war Australia, but also to the complexity of the events, comprising multiple series of tests (1952 -1963), undertaken across multiple locations by government agencies and actors.' (Introduction)
Poor Cousin Danielle Clode , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 389 2017; (p. 23)
'Maralinga is a name familiar to most Australians as the site of British nuclear testing in the 1950s. Less familiar are the earlier tests at the Monte Bello Islands off Western Australia and Emu Field in South Australia. All have left a toxic legacy in our history.' (Introduction)
[Review] Atomic Thunder Richard Evans , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 8 October 2016; (p. 36)

— Review of Atomic Thunder : The Maralinga Story Elizabeth Tynan , 2016 single work prose
The Price of Secrecy Brian Toohey , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Inside Story , October 2016;

— Review of Atomic Thunder : The Maralinga Story Elizabeth Tynan , 2016 single work prose
y separately published work icon [Review] Atomic Thunder: The maralinga Story Maggie Brady , 2017 21937609 2017 single work review
— Review of Atomic Thunder : The Maralinga Story Elizabeth Tynan , 2016 single work prose

'This is a highly readable account of the history and consequences of the British nuclear testing program in Australia – primarily the minor and major trials at Maralinga, South Australia, and the 1985 royal commission investigation and findings. Tynan’s closest competitor, Robert Milliken’s No Conceivable Injury: The Story of Britain and Australia’s Atomic Cover-up, was published in 1986 and was thus unable to cover subsequent scandals associated with the tests, the more recent reviews of veterans’ claims and entitlements, the 2003 Maralinga Rehabilitation Technical Advisory Committee (MARTAC) report on the studies of the test site ‘clean-up’, and even the involvement of Wikileaks. Tynan addresses these developments with aplomb, and while her book covers much of the same ground as Milliken, Atomic Thunder has immediacy and verve, while successfully weaving in a huge amount of complex material. One chapter out of 12 deals with the impact of the tests on Aboriginal people: the Western Desert groups who moved between Warburton, Ernabella, Cundeelee, Ooldea and Lake Phillipson near Coober Pedy.'

Poor Cousin Danielle Clode , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 389 2017; (p. 23)
'Maralinga is a name familiar to most Australians as the site of British nuclear testing in the 1950s. Less familiar are the earlier tests at the Monte Bello Islands off Western Australia and Emu Field in South Australia. All have left a toxic legacy in our history.' (Introduction)
[Review Essay] Atomic Thunder. The Maralinga Story Denis Cryle , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Politics & History , March vol. 63 no. 1 2017; (p. 146–147)
'This highly readable book deals definitively with an important yet neglected topic in post-war British-Australian relations. In part this neglect was due to the secrecy surrounding nuclear testing in post-war Australia, but also to the complexity of the events, comprising multiple series of tests (1952 -1963), undertaken across multiple locations by government agencies and actors.' (Introduction)
Atomic Thunder by Liz Tynan Samuel Wratten , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Etropic , vol. 16 no. 2 2017;

'Between 1956 and 1963, the British government tested seven nuclear weapons on Australian soil, along with hundreds of minor tests that contaminated the land and exposed local communities to dangerous levels of radiation. They did so largely under a veil of secrecy, and it was decades before the Australian government moved to compensate affected remote Indigenous communities. Atomic Thunder tells the story of how a legacy of nuclear testing changed the face of Australia in the aftermath of the Second World War. The book traces the history of the British A-Bomb tests at Maralinga and Monte Bello from early research into the secrets of the atom through to the repercussions Australians faced for allowing the British to act unchecked on their land. Atomic Thunder skilfully untangles the history of nuclear testing in Australia by uncovering the stories of the people who helped to develop such devastating weaponry, the people who should have been holding them to account and those who suffered due to the lack of oversight. Liz Tynan exposes the many individuals and groups who failed to stand up for the interests of Australia by holding the British government in check. Tynan's skill as a journalist is apparent in her ability to take her readers seamlessly through the different stages of the Australian nuclear tests right through to the present while uncovering the stories of the people involved.' (Introduction)

y separately published work icon [Review] Atomic Thunder: The maralinga Story Maggie Brady , 2017 21937609 2017 single work review
— Review of Atomic Thunder : The Maralinga Story Elizabeth Tynan , 2016 single work prose

'This is a highly readable account of the history and consequences of the British nuclear testing program in Australia – primarily the minor and major trials at Maralinga, South Australia, and the 1985 royal commission investigation and findings. Tynan’s closest competitor, Robert Milliken’s No Conceivable Injury: The Story of Britain and Australia’s Atomic Cover-up, was published in 1986 and was thus unable to cover subsequent scandals associated with the tests, the more recent reviews of veterans’ claims and entitlements, the 2003 Maralinga Rehabilitation Technical Advisory Committee (MARTAC) report on the studies of the test site ‘clean-up’, and even the involvement of Wikileaks. Tynan addresses these developments with aplomb, and while her book covers much of the same ground as Milliken, Atomic Thunder has immediacy and verve, while successfully weaving in a huge amount of complex material. One chapter out of 12 deals with the impact of the tests on Aboriginal people: the Western Desert groups who moved between Warburton, Ernabella, Cundeelee, Ooldea and Lake Phillipson near Coober Pedy.'

Last amended 2 Sep 2019 12:55:20
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