By EW Staff
December 19, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Between 1945 and 1962, the U.S. conducted 216 atmospheric and underwater nuclear tests — which are the hypnotizing subjects of this astonishing picture book culled by Light from the archives at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the U.S. National Archives. Bearing nicknames like Diablo, Frigate Bird, Priscilla, and Romeo, the glistening mushroom clouds resemble everything from flowers and jellyfish to bonfires and galaxies, to volleyballs and the falling Twin Towers. This window onto an awe-inspiring apocalypse would make a smart selection for the Dr. Strangelove fan on your list.