Area 51, Dreamland, Groom Lake, Paradise Ranch, Watertown Strip, the Box: all refer to the top-secret research installation, located a hundred miles north of Las Vegas, which, for many, has come to stand for all that is shadowy and nefarious about the military-industrial-intelligence complex. Built under the direction of the CIA in the 1950s, the base served as the original test site for the U-2 spy plane and F-117 stealth fighter jet. In more recent years, Area 51 has spurred public interest from its role in the government's $30 billion "Black Budget," from legal claims of worker illness due to toxic burning, and from sensational charges about captured alien spacecraft. It has also given birth to a feisty guerrilla subculture bent on exploding the secrecy surrounding this mysterious spot. David Darlington unfolds the history, legs, and characters involved with Area 51, weaving a weird tale of intrigue and outrage that speaks volumes about popular culture and American democracy at the of the twentieth century.