The Atom Bomb in popular culture

Featuring: Video Video

German surrender brought the Second World War in Europe to an end. But all feared that war with Japan would drag on and on. Behind the scenes, the US had been working on a secret weapon – the most powerful ever devised – and by August 1945, it was no longer such a secret. These films explore A-Bomb in Pop Culture or: How The West Has Changed its Portrayal of the Atomic Bomb Through Time, from the dropping of the very first atomic bomb, through to the Cold War and right up to the present day. The films conclude by asking whether or not these types of weapon should have existed in the first place, and questioning what the future holds for the A-Bomb.The films relate to The Open University Course A327, 'Europe 1914-1989: war, peace, modernity'.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

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Track 1: A Bomb Is Born

German surrender brought the Second World War in Europe to an end.

© The Open University

Track 2: Mad About A Bomb

By the end of the 1950s, public opinion about the bomb had started to shift.

© The Open University




Track 3: A Bomb Under Reagan


By the 1970s the Cold War tensions were beginning to thaw, as people grew less worried about nuclear catastrophe than about the Vietnam War.

© The Open University




Track 4: A Bomb On The Loose


By the 1980s the Soviet Union had spent decades pouring money into weapons and foreign wars.

© The Open University