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AN ATOMIC BOOK SIGNING

<p>Congresswoman Dina Titus, her book Bombs in the Backyard, and Atomic Liquors co-owner Derek Stonebarger.</p>

Congresswoman Dina Titus, her book Bombs in the Backyard, and Atomic Liquors co-owner Derek Stonebarger.

<p>U.S. Rep Dina Titus signs a copy of her book, <em>Bombs in the Backyard</em>. Prior to her election to Congress, she was a professor of political science at UNLV for 30 years.</p>

U.S. Rep Dina Titus signs a copy of her book, Bombs in the Backyard. Prior to her election to Congress, she was a professor of political science at UNLV for 30 years.

<p>U.S. Rep. Dina Titus signs a copy of her book for Las Vegas resident Kathy Ferguson. First released in 1986, a second edition of the book was reissued in 2001 by University of Nevada Press.</p>

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus signs a copy of her book for Las Vegas resident Kathy Ferguson. First released in 1986, a second edition of the book was reissued in 2001 by University of Nevada Press.

Bombs in the Backyard.
Bombs in the Backyard.

More than 25 years ago, a young UNLV academic wrote what has become an important book on the complex history of America and nuclear weapons, and specifically on nuclear weapons testing in Southern Nevada. A. Costandina Titus’ book Bombs in the Backyard: Atomic Testing and American Politics has been in classrooms and Nevada bookshelves since 1986.

Fast forward to 2013, and Congresswoman Dina Titus is (as all the congroidal species must) fundraising for a return to the House of Representatives in 2016. Titus, one and the same with the UNLV political science researcher and teacher, now is peddling her book at Atomic Liquors, the once-famously derelict and now modishly resurrected tavern on East Fremont Street.

A crowd of Democrats competes with a meeting of the local chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties at the bar, but the two groups are easy to distinguish. (The NAIOP folks are mostly Republicans.)

But what a perfect place for Titus to meet her fans! Within a few minutes, a couple dozen copies of BITB fly off a bar table, at $20 a pop. Titus signs a copy of the book for bar co-owner Derek Stonebarger under the glow of Atomic Liquors neon sign.

In many ways, the event bookends Las Vegas history. The city was young when crowds gathered on Fremont Street to watch above-ground nuclear bomb testing in the 1950s.

Now, a more mature Las Vegas welcomes nostalgia for the atomic age (if not the bombs themselves) as entrepreneurs attempt to recreate a glittering downtown that perhaps never existed.

Prior to being elected to her first Congressional term in 2009, Titus was a political science professor at UNLV for 30 years. CL