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Book Notes: Hanford’s legacy detailed in new books

Sun., June 5, 2011, midnight

Here are two new books about a crucial and controversial issue in our region:

• “Atomic Frontier Days: Hanford and the American West” (University of Washington Press, $24.95), by John M. Findlay and Bruce Hevly.

The authors tell the complex and fascinating story of Hanford’s atomic legacy. It was a vast area of sagebrush which was converted overnight during World War II to a super-secret federal bomb-building facility.

Our region is still dealing with many Hanford-related issues today – environmental, political and social.

One reviewer has already called the book “a must-read for anyone interested and concerned about this nation’s nuclear legacy.”

Both authors are history professors at the University of Washington. Findlay specializes in the Northwest and the American West, and Hevly specializes in the history of science and technology.

They “offer perspective on today’s controversies,” according to the publisher.

Their book was just released this month and you can find it at local bookstores, online or at

• “Made in Hanford: The Bomb That Changed the World” (Washington State University Press, $22.95) by Hill Williams.

A former science writer for the Seattle Times, Williams is particularly well-suited to this subject. His father was editor of the Pasco Herald during World War II – and one of the few people in on part of the secret.

Williams went on to write about Hanford and other nuclear issues for the Times. He also had access to the diaries of one of Hanford’s key figures.

The book combines his personal story with detailed scientific and historic research. You should be able to find it at local bookstores and online or at

Orozco ascendant

Daniel Orozco of Moscow, Idaho, will read from his acclaimed “Orientation: And Other Stories” (Faber & Faber, $23) at BookPeople of Moscow, 521 S. Main, on Friday at 7 p.m. listed it in its Best Books of the Month for May and said “you would be hard pressed to find a more consistent collection of short stories.”

The book also made it onto the long list for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, one of the most prestigious international awards for short stories.

Orozco teaches at the University of Idaho.

Local book roundup

Here’s a roundup of a few new local books of the self-published variety:

• “Children of Mercy: Tales and Teachings from the World of Independent Music,” which includes stories and essays by indie musicians from Seattle, Portland and Spokane along with a CD compilation.

The project was put together by Ron Trembath, a local writer and airman at Fairchild Air Force Base. All proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

You can find this book at local and online bookstores or

• “Brain Farts: The Love Story,” a novel by local author C. Rhem WestCook. He calls it “a heartwarming tale of mystery, intrigue and murder.” You’ll just have to read the story to find out why it has that title. It’s available through Barnes & Noble as an e-book.

• “Alpha,” a novel by local author Randolph Nord. He says it’s an example of “how the path of true love never runs perfectly straight.” It’s available through Amazon and other online outlets.

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