[SIGCIS-Members] New(ish) book: Klara and the Bomb

Crystal Bennes hello at crystalbennes.com
Tue Apr 25 07:05:42 PDT 2023


Some of you may remember my posting about my photobook project on Klara Dan von Neumann and women in computing to the list during its crowdfunding days in autumn 2021 (which many of you were kind enough to support!), but I wanted to flag that Klara and the Bomb was indeed published for anyone who might find the book of interest and hasn’t yet procured a copy.

Publisher's blurb:

Klara and the Bomb is a photographical and historical work that charts connecting threads between the invention of modern computers, the history of nuclear weapons and, in particular, the narratives of the women involved.

While computing technology is ubiquitous today, its militaristic history and colonial connections continue to be underplayed or obscured: the modern computer originates in military-funded nuclear weapons research and development that took place during and after the Second World War. Many of these weapons were later detonated in the Marshall Islands where indigenous communities were coerced into leaving their homes.

These interconnected stories are told through the little-known life of Klara von Neumann, who came to the United States after marrying the noted mathematician John von Neumann. As one of the first computer programmers, Klara’s story highlights the extent to which women were involved in the development of both computing and nuclear weapons from the 1940s onwards. Klara’s life ended tragically: in 1963, her body was found on the beach not far from her California home. Suicide by drowning, the coroner’s report stated.

The book is available directly from the publishers (based in the Netherlands) for €35 + shipping: 


For those in the UK, I also have a number of copies remaining in my personal stash which are £35 (includes shipping). Please do get in touch if you’d like one.

Very best wishes,


Crystal Bennes
Artist, Researcher & Writer hello at crystalbennes.comwebsite | twitter | instagram
 Order my debut photobook, Klara and the BombThorvaldsen's Weeds at Thorvaldsens Museum, June 2023 Platform, Edinburgh Art Festival, August 2023
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