Personal Preparedness in the Nuclear Age, Student Manual (1960)


A rare document on the Web, Personal Preparedness in the Nuclear Age, Student Manual (December, 1960, SM-3-11, Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, GPO; SuDoc: Pr 34.761:P 43), is the text for the course of the same title (p.iii).

Pages 8-68 are a guide to CBR (chemical, biological and radiological) fallout, fallout shelters, warning systems, emergency response, and “personal survival actions.” What I find compelling about Personal Preparedness is the philosophical framing of relations between the Former Soviet Union and the United States as a “conflict of ideologies,” linking Karl Marx’s Das Kapital to “totalitarian government” (p.1).*** The conflict is explained as

A basic conflict exists between the ideology of communism and democracy. The goal of communism is world domination. The United States continues to see an enduring peace by all honorable means. American military strength provides a strong deterrent to war.” (p. 7)

The exam questions at the end of each chapter are representative of particular chapter discussions; for example, the question “What is the basic cause of the conflict between the communistic nations and the United States?” relates to Chapter One’s discussion of ideology and conflict.

The scanned copy of  Personal Preparedness in the Nuclear Age isn’t great. In part, this is due to the differing color of typeface between the text and tables. But the doc is readable..


*** The Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy (Moynihan Commission) is a helpful historical adjunct to American views of the Former Soviet Union, especially Appendix A, sections 4 and 7.