Nuclear Summer

Louise Krasniewicz, Author Cornell University Press $49.95 (259p) ISBN 978-0-8014-2635-3
Analyzing a local conflict that made national news, anthropologist Krasniewicz has constructed an intriguing if jargon-heavy book that explores differing visions of America, community, political protest and sexual identity. In 1983, thousands of women gathered at an upstate New York encampment to protest the nearby stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Many local residents resented the protesters, and one confrontation, at a bridge in the town of Waterloo, turned violent. Krasniewicz, slightly sympathetic to the protesters but retaining a spirit of inquiry, videotaped them in 1983 and later interviewed a range of participants in the conflict; from this collage of sources she then re-creates the incident through a fictionalized narrative account and a dramatic reenactment. She shows how the nuclear issue was overshadowed by the townspeople's concerns about the encampment's condoning of lesbianism, its refusal to fly the American flag on the Fourth of July and its antipatriarchal protests. She notes schisms within the encampment over issues like feminism and how both protesters and residents manipulated for their own ends the myth that the Seneca County locals were members of an idyllic rural community. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 259 pages - 978-0-8014-9938-8
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