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We often think of 'progress' and 'economic growth' as natural developments that benefit all members of society. Nuclear Power and Social Power challenges this view and instead suggests that specific definitions of progress and economic growth can be molded by powerful individuals, organizations, and classes. These definitions, and their manifestation in social policy, often serve narrow parochial interests rather than the common good. Such inequities of social power, hiding behind the semantic facade of 'progress' and 'economic growth,' threaten the existence of democratic communities and societies.In Nuclear Power and Social Power , Rick Eckstein helps us understand this perspective of social power by examining the civilian nuclear power industry in the United States. More specifically, he compares the Shoreham reactor in New York and the Seabrook reactor in New Hampshire, which faced similar financial and public oppositions yet met very different fates. The $5.5 billion Shoreham plant was the first completed and licensed reactor in the United States never to operate commercially. Seabrook, costing about the same, managed to open even though its primary owner went bankrupt. Despite the differences, the cast of winners and losers was very much the same. In both cases, banks and other powerful corporations won while regular folks and small businesses lost amid a barrage of egalitarian discourse about progress and growth. Rick Eckstein is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Villanova University.