The 53: Rituals, Grief, and a Titan II Missile Disaster
On August 9, 1965, 53 men died in the impoverished hills of rural Arkansas. Their final breaths came in a government facility deep underground while their loved ones were at home expecting their return. The incident at Launch Complex 373-4 remains the deadliest accident to occur in a U.S. nuclear facility. The 53: Rituals, Grief, and a Titan II Missile Disaster analyzes the event. It looks at causes but more importantly at how the mishap has affected daughters and sons for nearly six decades. It gives new sociological insight on technological disasters and the sorrow following them. The book also details how surviving family members managed themselves and each other while benefiting from the support of friends and strangers. It describes how institutions blame the powerless, and how powerful organizations generate distrust and secondary trauma. With an analysis of the event and post-disaster life, their children share stories on what went wrong and how they keep moving forward.
Ulsperger, Jason S. 2022. The 53: Rituals, Grief, and a Titan II Missile Disaster. Lanham: Lexington Books.