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Day of the Bomb: Countdown to Hiroshima Hardcover – 1986

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kurzman (Genesis 1948) recounts the events leading to the decision to drop the first atomic bomb, preparations for delivery over the target, the event itself, and the aftermath as it affected the officials most closely involved. Using delicate strokes on a grand canvas that includes portraits of President Truman, prime ministers and the emperor of Japan, the author probes the minds of those who conceived the bomb and developed it, and those who subsequently tried to prevent its use. The latter included Leo Szillard, who "tried to switch off the machine he had created . . . lest it light the road to Armageddon." There's a wealth of rich new material here, including Kurzman's convincing speculations about Klaus Fuchs's complicated motivations in passing atomic secrets to the Russians, and fresh insights into policy discussions at the highest levels in both the United States and Japan. Kurzman performs a mighty feat of research and writing in a comprehensive account of the interrelated details of the most awesome tragedy of the century. Literary Guild selection; Military Book Club alternate; author tour. November 25
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Many books and movies base their stories on the lives of people from various backgrounds and nationalities converging in a single decisive event. John Hersey's moving classic Hiroshima (1946; 1985, rev. ed.) used this formula. So does Kurzman's in this latest addition to the shelf full of books inspired by the 40th anniversary of the nuclear age. Unfortunately, despite considerable background research and capable writing, this work demonstrates that the formula approach to such a momentous historical event can be mechanistic, almost trite. For general readers, a better book on the excitement and fear engendered by the bomb is Peter Wyden's Day One ( LJ 11/1/84). CBS is planning a docudrama based on Day of the Bomb. Literary Guild and Military Book Club alternates; History Book club main selection. Charles K. Piehl, Director of Grants Management, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 546 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070356831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070356832
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,360,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dave on June 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the most outstanding study of human folly. It describes in depth the events that took place and the processes and results of decision making that eventually lead to the most devastating split second single event that was ever caused by mankind to mankind, the dropping of an atomic bomb on a vibrant city. It is saddening to observe how professional advisers are so powerless to avert the eventual outcome, i.e. the bomb dropping, in the face of decisions made by leaders bent on achieving a goal that is absolutely ludicrous for there own selfish and egoistic reasons. It is sad to see how a leader is so ensnared in a system created by his own subjects that he can not make the slightest change to avoid the obvious looming catastrophe. Could it happen again?
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