Thematic map of the American nuclear complex by the War Resisters League

Prepared by Ed Hedemann et al. / Typesetting by the Guardian Typesetters, New York, Nuclear America. New York: War Resisters League, 2nd edition June 1979.
Offset lithographic map printed in three colors, chart printed in three colors on verso, 17 ¼”h x 22”w at sheet edge. Excellent.

A compelling persuasive map by the War Resisters League, highlighting the pervasiveness of the American nuclear complex, emphasizing the close link between civilian and military applications of nuclear energy, and calling for grassroots mobilization.

The poster features a thematic map of the United States covered with symbols indicating nuclear facilities, the shape and color of each indicating its precise civilian and/or military purpose (Small red crosses, for example, indicate nuclear weapons testing sites.) Areas of light-red shading indicate “areas subject to direct nuclear attack during a nuclear war.” A long index on the verso identifies the name, location and precise function of each facility pinpointed on the front.

The poster is one of a suite of anti-nuclear maps published in the 1970s and-80s by the War Resisters League. Founded in 1923 and still active today, the League is “the oldest secular pacifist organization in the United States” (Wikipedia). Over nearly a century, it has resisted American involvement in wars abroad and campaigned domestically for civil rights and against the military-industrial complex. The fourth poster–“The Nuclear Weapons Complex Transportation Routes”—was published by the Radioactive Waste Campaign, also based in New York City but at 625 Broadway. Beyond the obvious congruence of their missions the two organizations likely had some kind of functional and/or social connection, as the posters are all stylistically similar, and the designer of the “Transportation Routes” poster is also credited on two of those issued by the War Resisters League.

The first edition of this map appeared in 1978. This updated edition, published the following year, features a larger variety of symbols, a much-increased census of nuclear facilities, and a redrawing of areas subject to nuclear attack.

OCLC 7693551 et al., giving numerous institutional holdings. Rumsey #12352.