A new book out on the shelves, “Cold War Oklahoma” by Landry Brewer, tells readers about Oklahoma's part in the events of the Cold War.
A new book out on the shelves, “Cold War Oklahoma” by Landry Brewer, tells readers about Oklahoma’s part in the events of the Cold War.
Brewer, a history instructor at Southwestern Oklahoma State University who teaches at the Sayre campus, touches on several subjects of interest regarding what was happening in the state from about 1947 to 1991.
Information included within includes civil defense efforts by citizens at the time, military bases in the state and the roles they played, fallout shelters and preparations taken throughout the country in the event of nuclear war, Oklahoma natives who were in the forefront of events of the day, and even the story of an OU professor turned Soviet Spy. Mixed in are some smaller historical details of interest. I enjoyed reading about the SWOSU professor who hand-dug his own fallout shelter and the panic created by malfunctioning sirens, which were built to signal impending attacks (the system we use today for tornado warnings).
Looming largest in the narrative, however, is the story of the missile silos built at various locations to house Atlas F missiles – which came frighteningly close to being fired during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Brewer includes photos of what one of the sites looks like today.
The book is definitely an interesting look at a vital time in our nation’s history, and it’s fascinating to learn the significance of our state in the grand scheme of things.
Brewer made a smart choice in subject matter for his debut book. It’s a subject he clearly has an interest in, but he has personal ties to it as well. His father and grandfather both worked at some of the missile sites mentioned – either during their operation or during their construction.
Brewer is a Bernhardt Scholar and has been published several times in the journal of the Oklahoma Historical Society and in western Oklahoma newspapers. He has also written two one-act plays. He lives in Elk City with his wife, Erin, and their five children.
“Cold War Oklahoma,” by Landry Brewer with a forward by Bob Burke, is available through Arcadia Publishing & The History Press, ISBN: 978-1-4671-4225-0, $21.99. The paperback book is 128 pages.