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Apocalyptic Urban Future: Atomic Cities and Cinema

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Resilient City in World War II
Subtitle of host publicationPalgrave Studies in World Environmental History
EditorsSimo Laakkonen, J. R. McNeill, Richard P. Tucker , Timo Vuorisalo
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-17439-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-17438-5
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2019
Publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in World Environmental History


In August 1945, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused the death of about 200,000 people. Atomic warfare, if anything, made the warfare an urban phenomenon. The long-lasting lack of documentary footage of the atomic bombings opened the way for apocalyptic imagination. Cities were constantly attacked by radiation-born monsters, such as giant ants, as a sign of mutilated nature’s revenge. American science fiction films of the 1950s addressed contradictions of modern science by transforming the abstract scenarios of total annihilation into cinematic images of destroyed cities, hideous aliens, and post-apocalyptic survival. The “nuclear monster” movies started a completely new genre in the history of film, eco-horror, which opened the eyes of the general public to the possible futures of Western civilization.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland