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Archimedes' Dialogue Project

Cold War Dixie

About this Dialogue

"Cold War Dixie" focuses on the impact of the Savannah River Plant (SRP) on the communities it created, rejuvenated, or displaced, this book explores the parallel militarization and modernization of the Cold War-era South. The SRP, a scientific and industrial complex near Aiken, South Carolina, grew out of a 1950 partnership between the Atomic Energy Commission and the DuPont Corporation and was dedicated to producing materials for the hydrogen bomb. Kari Frederickson shows how the needs of the expanding national security state, in combination with the corporate culture of DuPont, transformed the economy, landscape, social relations, and politics of this corner of the South. In 1950, the area comprising the SRP and its surrounding communities was primarily poor, uneducated, rural, and staunchly Democratic; by mid-1960s, it boasted the most PhDs per capita in the state and had become increasingly middle class, suburban, and Republican. The SRP’s story is notably dramatic; however, Frederickson argues, it is far from unique.

About the Speaker

Frederickson is an associate professor and chair of the department of history at the University of Alabama. She received her Ph.D from Rutgers University. Although University of Alabama history professor Kari Frederickson was born and raised in Wisconsin, she’s dedicated her life’s work to researching the modern South.

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