National Archives at Kansas City

Dr. John Curatola to Discuss His Book

Press Release: April 21, 2016

Dr. John Curatola to Discuss Bigger Bombs for a Brighter Tomorrow: The Strategic Air Command and the America War Plans at the Dawn of the Atomic Age, 1945-1950

For More Information Contact:
Kimberlee Ried, 816-268-8072

Kansas City (MO)…On Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives at Kansas City will host Dr. John Curatola for a discussion about his book Bigger Bombs for a Brighter Tomorrow: The Strategic Air Command and the America War Plans at the Dawn of the Atomic Age, 1945-1950. A free light reception will precede the event at 6:00 p.m.

After World War II, the United States felt secure in its atomic monopoly and with the American “Pax Atomica” in place, the free world held an apparent strategic advantage over the Soviet bloc and saw itself as a bulwark against communist expansion. Yet, America's atomic superiority in the early postwar years was more fiction than fact. From 1945 until 1950, the U.S. atomic arsenal was poorly coordinated, equipped, and funded. The newly formed Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) inherited from the Manhattan Engineer District was a program suffering from poor organization, failing infrastructure, and internal conflict. The military establishment and the Air Force's Strategic Air Command knew little about what to do with this new weapon. The Air Force and the AEC failed to coordinate their efforts for a possible atomic air offensive and war plans were ill-conceived, reflecting unrealistic expectations of Air Force capabilities, and possible political outcomes. Curatola will discuss how this lack of preparedness serves as a case study in the tenuous nature of American civilian-military relationships. This program is presented in partnership with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Copies of Curatola's book will be available for purchase and signing. Reservations are requested for this free program by calling 816-268-8010 or emailing kansascity.educate@nara.gov. Requests for ADA accommodations must be submitted five business days prior to events.

About the Author

John Curatola is an associate professor of History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Prior to this position he was an active duty Marine Corps officer and retired in 2009 as a Lieutenant Colonel after 22 years of service. He received his doctorate from the University of Kansas in 2008. His work has been published in number of books and national periodicals.

The National Archives at Kansas City is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

# # #

LPM/LE-KC 16-10

Top