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This title in other editions

The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor

by

The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"These days, the phrase 'nuclear ambitions' is applied ominously to countries or heads of state. Yet it aptly describes an ordinary teenager in suburban Detroit named David Hahn. His experience is a frightening indication of how easily dangerous materials can be acquired — and hidden....The personal tragedy here sounds as disturbing as the potential public disaster." Tim Rauschenberger, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Growing up in suburban Detroit, David Hahn was fascinated by science. While he was working on his Atomic Energy badge for the Boy Scouts, David's obsessive attention turned to nuclear energy. Throwing caution to the wind, he plunged into a new project: building a model nuclear reactor in his backyard garden shed.

Posing as a physics professor, David solicited information on reactor design from the U.S. government and from industry experts. Following blueprints he found in an outdated physics textbook, David cobbled together a crude device that threw off toxic levels of radiation. His wholly unsupervised project finally sparked an environmental emergency that put his town's forty thousand suburbanites at risk. The EPA ended up burying his lab at a radioactive dumpsite in Utah. This offbeat account of ambition and, ultimately, hubris has the narrative energy of a first-rate thriller.

Review:

"Aghast at Hahn's recklessness but amazed by his mad-scientist resourcefulness, Silverstein regales readers with an irresistible tale." Booklist

Review:

"Anyone who has ever wondered what the neighborhood geek might be brewing up in his backyard should read The Radioactive Boy Scout. This is a riveting and disturbing story about the power of the teenage mind — and the sparks that fly when a nuclear family melts down." David Kushner, author of Masters of Doom

Review:

"Silverstein...fleshes out David Hahn's atomic escapades, and though it takes a while for the story to kick into gear, readers will be sucked in not just by how Hahn did it but how he was able to get away with it." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A preposterous story kept in check by a restrained (if incredulous) voice and by situating it within the folderol of the Cold War nuclear fraternity." Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Ken Silverstein is an investigative reporter for the Washington, D.C., bureau of the Los Angeles Times. A former contributing editor to Harper's magazine, in which a portion of this story first appeared, he has written for Mother Jones, The Nation, and The American Prospect, among others. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812966602
Author:
Silverstein, Ken
Publisher:
Villard Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Experiments & Projects
Subject:
Nuclear energy
Subject:
Problem youth
Subject:
Scientists - General
Subject:
Power Resources - Nuclear
Subject:
Problem youth -- United States.
Subject:
Breeder reactors.
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Biography-Scientists
Subject:
science;biography;non-fiction;nuclear energy;physics;boy scouts;history;nuclear;michigan;popular science;technology;engineering;atomic;nuclear power;american;atomic energy;radioactivity
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20050131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8 x 5.15 x 0.48 in 0.4 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Science and Technology
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
Reference » Science Reference » Experiments
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Energy » Nuclear Engineering
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Villard Books - English 9780812966602 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "These days, the phrase 'nuclear ambitions' is applied ominously to countries or heads of state. Yet it aptly describes an ordinary teenager in suburban Detroit named David Hahn. His experience is a frightening indication of how easily dangerous materials can be acquired — and hidden....The personal tragedy here sounds as disturbing as the potential public disaster." (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
"Review" by , "Aghast at Hahn's recklessness but amazed by his mad-scientist resourcefulness, Silverstein regales readers with an irresistible tale."
"Review" by , "Anyone who has ever wondered what the neighborhood geek might be brewing up in his backyard should read The Radioactive Boy Scout. This is a riveting and disturbing story about the power of the teenage mind — and the sparks that fly when a nuclear family melts down."
"Review" by , "Silverstein...fleshes out David Hahn's atomic escapades, and though it takes a while for the story to kick into gear, readers will be sucked in not just by how Hahn did it but how he was able to get away with it."
"Review" by , "A preposterous story kept in check by a restrained (if incredulous) voice and by situating it within the folderol of the Cold War nuclear fraternity."
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