This special issue, “Revealing the Michigan Memorial–Phoenix Project,” highlights the Michigan Memorial–Phoenix Project at the University of Michigan, a program of civilian nuclear research established after World War II that also memorialized Michigan’s victims of the two World Wars. It blossomed into a broad-based, multidisciplinary program supporting work pursuing peaceful uses of the atom, understood broadly. It became the basis for sustained interdisciplinary and international collaboration, a conduit for scientific diplomacy, a privileged site for the alliance between the US government and industry, and a pioneer in the education of nuclear engineers. The Phoenix Project was an unusual and highly local phenomenon, but contributors to this issue nevertheless find ways in which it embodied larger trends in the early Cold War. In this introduction, we highlight the multiple dimensions of the Phoenix Project and reflect on the challenges and opportunities posed by writing the history of peculiar entities.

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