What If Cold War Consumerism Never Ended?

In Fallout, the Bomb Scared Americans Underground. In Reality, Nukes Sold Everything But Shelters

Amazon’s new series Fallout starts with the end of the world: News reports of an international crisis interrupt a children’s birthday party, mushroom clouds appear outside, and chaos ensues. The year is 2077, but it feels like the 1950s. In this world, the Cold War never ended, and neither did the consumerism that defined mid-century America.

Two centuries after the opening sequence—when the plot of Fallout shifts into gear—cities are devastated, and communities have descended into violence. But brands endure. Advertisements for “Nuka-Cola” and “Super Duper Mart” litter the …

Digging Up the History of the Family Bomb Shelter

For 75 Years, Images of Bunker Life Have Reflected the Shifting Optimism, Anxieties, and Cynicism of the Nuclear Age

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is not the first conflict to unfold on social media, but commentators have been quick to dub it the first “TikTok War.” Videos by young …