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Postcards for Posterity - Atomic Postcards in the New York Times
Article by Eve M. Kahn

'Postcard collectors with minuscule niche interests are publishing their holdings in droves, with brief explanations of how they became obsessed...

Visitors to nuclear labs and wastelands bought the disturbing photos shown in “Atomic Postcards: Radioactive Messages From the Cold War” (Intellect/University of Chicago Press). The authors, the Canadian historians John O’Brian and Jeremy Borsos, focused on artifacts published between the 1940s and ’80s, with clueless upbeat messages on the backs.

“Pray for Peace” is the rote postmark sometimes stamped on the backs. “Really swell to be here,” a tourist named Betty, visiting Nevada, wrote to her sister Agnes on a 1950s image of a mushroom cloud blooming over Yucca Flat.

“Even postcards mailed at the edge of danger rarely stray from a lingua franca of cheerfulness,” Mr. O’Brian writes.'

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