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Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam Paperback – November 1, 1994

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'A daring and elaborate work of historical reconstruction.' New York Review of Books'Since its publication almost everyone who has written about the beginning of the atomic age has praised or denounced the book.' New York Times'Atomic Diplomacy is a classic account of the use of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and its connections with America's confrontation with the Soviet Union. fifty years after the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is more important than ever that we understand how political and military leaders make decisions about the use of nuclear weapons. Atomic Diplomacy is, therefore a timely book. It is also a very readable book, admirably researched. It should be ssential reading for all politicians.' Medicine & War

About the Author

Gar Alperovitz is a historian and political economist and is President of the National Center for Economic Alternatives in Washington DC. He has been a fellow of Kings College Cambridge and the Kennedy Institute at Harvard. He has contributed to many publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Nation. A BBC special on Alperovitz's work was screened 1989.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press; 2nd expanded edition (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074530947X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745309477
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gar Alperovitz (born May 5, 1936) is Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, College Park Department of Government and Politics. He is a former Fellow of King's College, Cambridge; a founding Fellow of Harvard's Institute of Politics; a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. Alperovitz also served as a Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a Special Assistant in the Department of State. Alperovitz is a founding principal of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, and a member of the board of directors for the New Economics Institute (NEI).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Graham M. Flower on March 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
My father was present at these events. He was drafted out of Graduate School at Harvard, selected by virtue of performance on IQ tests given there and was directly involved in the code breaking and analysis in the far east. He reported to a Lt General in the US Army for the wartime effort he was officially an officer in Army Intelligence. He read the cables at this time and performed analysis for the Army high command. The story he has related to me is essentially identical to the story this book relates. The bulk of the upper echelon's of the US armed forces realized that Japan was done and was sending out feelers for peace. Japan realized that she was cooked before the Atomic bomb was dropped. My father's specific recollection is that Japan was only requesting that the Emperor not be treated as a war criminal, a condition that was fulfilled anyway. Hence my father has never believed that the dropping of the bomb was required. This book fills in many details of what was going on inside the US government at that time but it basically is entirely consistent with what my father has said since I was old enough to understand.

It is mystifying to me why some people react violently and negatively to the story related in this book. The book is not alleging some grand conspiracy just the normal pushing and pulling inside the government which is typical of decision making in a democracy. The book is well documented.
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By martin.morand on July 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lest we forget how we started the Cold War and broke the truce on use of Abomb
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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1997
Format: Paperback
"Atomic Diplomacy" describes how the atomic bomb seduced the United States government in 1945 into the fantasy that it could intimidate the Russians into abandoning their strategic objectives after World War II. To convey this message to the Kremlin, approximately 200,000 Japanese were dispatched in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "Atomic Diplomacy" tells the beginning of a sad story of hubris on a world historical scale. It is a tragic irony that a weapon which in the end we did not need to win the war ended up bewitching our leaders into losing the peace
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Huff on July 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
So said Jack Nicholson's character in the film, "A Few Good Men," and so says Mr. Alperovitz to his prosecutors in the reviews below. One reviewer in particular took great lengths - with little evidence - to state the book's conclusions were based on statements taken out of context. This can be refuted by just one statement that Admiral Nimitz made to author James Michener in 1944, referring to the blockade: "We have the Japs beat." And as the only effective fighting force the "Japs" possessed at this time was the Kwantung Army, cut off and then subsequently bottled up in Manchuria by Soviet occupation, the notion that US forces would have had to turn Tokyo into Stalingrad becomes even more preposterous.

There is no doubt that the desire to use the Bomb on the "Japs" is in direct proportion to the widespread use of said racist term itself. I cannot imagine the US testing this device on Berlin (though Hitler would have used it on the tip of a rocket if he'd had it in time.) Mr. Alperovitz does an excellent job debunking the patriotic propaganda that has wrapped a major war crime in the Stars and Stripes, proving that the "values of Nuremurg" were indeed but a display of victors' justice.
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10 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
All indications from the secret negotiations between the Americans and the Japanese and, retrospectively, from the complete devastation of Japan point to Dr. Alperovitz's claim: The atomic bombs were unnecessary for the war's conclusion.
Given the fact that more than 200K civilians were specifically targeted and instantaneously incinerated in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this book leaves me the following thought: What a dreadful sin we have committed ...
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