Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Review: AREA 51
Need something interesting to read? I did..and so I picked up a copy of Annie Jacobsen's Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base. This fascinating book gives us a new look at one of the favorite subjects of conspiracy theorists. Furthermore, it's a peek back at the Cold War mentality that so gripped this country during the forties, fifties, and sixties- a time when the American psyche was balanced between hope and desperation, between innocence and snarky awareness. This era, often distorted through romanticization (is that even a word?) and a need to reshape history for various reasons related to ideology and political correctness, is a complex and compelling time to study. And while Ms. Jacobsen doesn't set out to examine culture, her book nonetheless gives insights to that time and adds another piece to the puzzle.
So what's in Area 51? Annie Jacobsen's researched the topic, pouring through declassified material and interviewing employees who were once sworn to secrecy.. Her writing is convincing and ultimately the secrets revealed are what you would expect them to be. Area 51 was a site used for developing new weapons systems. Here scientists and the military worked on all manner of stealth technology and delivery systems.
The book is a quick read, and compelling. And of course, Jacobsen throws a few curves through the narrative, such as when she dishes speculation about what was recovered at Roswell. I won't spill the beans on that one, but if you want more check out the videos below (all from news.cnet.com), specifically the third video.