Joseph Masco
Publication Date: 
Duke University Press
Link to Publisher Website: 
The Future of Fallout

The Future of Fallout, and Other Episodes in Radioactive World-Making (2021, Duke University Press) gathers writings that examine the strange American intimacy with and commitment to existential danger. Tracking the simultaneous production of nuclear emergency and climate disruption since 1945, Masco focuses on the psychosocial accommodations as well as the technological revolutions that have produced these linked planetary scale disasters. Masco assesses the memory practices, visual culture, concepts of danger, and toxic practices that, in combination, have generated a US national security culture that promises ever more safety and comfort in everyday life but does so only by generating, and deferring acton on, a vast range of violences into the collective future. Interrogating how this existential lag (i.e., the material and conceptual fallout of the twentieth century in form of nuclear weapons and petrochemical capitalism) informs life in the twenty-first century, Masco identifies key moments when other futures were possible, and seeks to activate an alternative, post-national security, political imaginary in support of collective life today.