The Bombing of the American West.
Photographs by Richard Misrach. Text by Myriam Weisang Misrach.
Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1990. 160 pp., 40 color and 9 b&w illustrations,, 12x9".
Richard Misrach, author of the acclaimed Desert Cantos, has produced this remarkable exploration of the military's treatment of the American West. Misrach lived in the Nevada desert for eighteen months, in an area where the U.S. Navy illegally tested high explosive bombs starting in 1952. The photographs capture both the natural beauty and the manmade devastation unique to this remote Nevada landscape. Scattered across the great alkali flat, rusted wrecks of military vehicles lie as if in the aftermath of battle. One image shows a bomb crater filled with a crimson, blood-like liquid. Misrach also includes his half-ironic, half-earnest plan to reclaim the land and designate it an environmental memorial and national park. Myriam Misrach's accompanying text documents the disturbing history of military expansionism in the American West in a collection of captivating and haunting photographs.
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