Higher Power: An Evening with Casey Bukro
The Book Stall welcomes journalist Casey Bukro to the store on Wednesday, February 7 at 6:30 pm to discuss his new book, Higher Power: An American Town’s Story of Faith, Hope, and Nuclear Energy, an in-depth examination of a town’s nuclear power plant by the one reporter who was allowed inside. Casey Bukro, the Chicago Tribune‘s first environment reporter, became “the nuclear reporter” while covering the Zion Nuclear Power Station from the inside, including within hazardous radioactive zones. Mr. Bukro will be in conversation with store historian Jon Grand.
This event is free with registration. To register, please visit our website or CLICK HERE.
More About the Book: Nuclear power once promised to be the solution to the world’s energy crisis, but that all changed in the late twentieth century after multiple high-profile accidents and meltdowns. Power plant workers, finding themselves the subject of public opposition, became leery of reporters. But the plant in Zion, Illinois allowed unrestricted access to the Chicago Tribune’s Casey Bukro, one of the first environment reporters in the country. Bukro spent two years inside the Zion nuclear plant, interviewing employees, witnessing high-risk maintenance procedures, and watching the radiation exposure counter on his own dosimeter tick up and up.
In Higher Power, Bukro’s reporting from the plant is prefaced by a compelling history of the city of Zion, including a tell-all of John Alexander Dowie, a nineteenth-century “faith healer” who founded Zion. His evangelism left a mark on the city well into the modern era, even as a new “higher” power, nuclear energy, moved into town. With the acceleration of climate change, the questions and challenges surrounding nuclear power have never been more relevant. How did the promise of nuclear energy stumble? Should we try to address the mistakes made in the past? What part could nuclear power play in our energy future? Higher Power explores these questions and examines one American town’s attempts to build a better society as a bellwether for national policy and decision making.
Charles F. Whitaker, dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, says, “Few reporters have chronicled the development of nuclear power in the latter half of the twentieth century with as much depth and precision as Casey Bukro. In Higher Power, Bukro provides a fascinating look at the idiosyncratic history of the Illinois town that gave birth to the modern nuclear power plant. . . It is an illuminating and engaging read.”
More About the Author: Casey Bukro, Chicago Tribune environmental reporter and leader in journalism ethics, wrote the Code of Ethics adopted in 1973 by the Society of Professional Journalists and was awarded the Wells Memorial Key in 1983. He served as the society’s national ethics chairman and was the former president of the Chicago Headline Club, a professional chapter of SPJ. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.