"For most laypeople, atomic science in the Cold War means arms races, bomb shelters, and nuclear fallout. In Life Atomic, Creager offers a new perspective by exploring a different side of radiation science: the use of radioisotopes in laboratory science and medical research. During the early days of the Cold War, radioisotopes were hailed as a peaceful use of atomic science, a way to put fission products to use for everything from curing cancer to improving foreign relations. However, as public perception of radioactivity shifted, radioisotopes came to be seen as a potential poison. Creager deals deftly with atomic science, cultural debates, and Cold War politics to give us a fresh look at the atom’s fraught 20th-century history."