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Bombing Civilians: A Twentieth-Century History Hardcover – February 1, 2009
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About the Author
Marilyn B. Young is a professor of history at New York University. She is a co-editor (with Lloyd C. Gardner) of The New American Empire: A 21st Century Teach-In on U.S. Foreign Policy and Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam: Or, How Not to Learn from the Past and (with Yuki Tanaka) of Bombing Civilians: A Twentieth-Century History, all published by The New Press. She lives in New York City.
Top Customer Reviews
The RAF commander in Iraq in the 1920s said that bombing was `undoubtedly humane in the long run' and that it was, `beyond all argument, the most merciful course to take'. In those years, the RAF was also bombing Afghanistan, India, Yemen, Egypt and Somaliland.
In an important essay, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa argues that the Soviet entry into World War Two was `far more important' than the atomic bombing in Japan's decision to surrender.
The commanding general of the US Army Air Force said that the strategic bomber was `the most humane of all weapons'. US General Curtis LeMay boasted, "we burnt down every town in North Korea and South Korea, too." US and British forces killed possibly 3 million Korean people, mostly civilians.
During the US attack on Vietnam, the USAAF dropped 8 million tons of bombs on Indochina (compared to 2 million it dropped in all theatres in World War Two); their explosive power equaled 640 Hiroshima-size bombs. They killed between 2 and 4 million Indochinese people, again mostly civilians.
even if I am a bit skeptical about results !
Why US people,apparently so decent and sensible, are so indifferent to others' suf-
ferings? They dont want to know and if they
know they do not care too much.
So they repeat same 'mistakes'(=crimes ?) over
the years, covering them with same 'smoke
curtain': it is asthonishing how US leaders'
words beginning, e.g. ,last century sound
like today's ! Freedom, democracy etc. on the
one hand, BOMBS on the other.
A long chain of painful,for the 'others',
contradictions between talking and doing ,
perhaps the only real heritage from UK ancestors. At same time, congratulations to
the knowledge and courage of the Authors
producing such excellent texts: you can find
them in US and UK only, not in Europe .
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ,with less
Oh, where do I begin?
First, the author basically redefines 'strategic bombing' as the deliberate terror bombing of civilians and then takes this sock puppet as a basis for his "ethical philosophizing." In a few isolated cases, this was doubtlessly true and there certainly cases, such as the obvious one at Dresden, where there are legitimate questions about the need and even morality of specific raids. In the case of Dresden, this was particularly true since there was already a fair bit of debate as to the need for the raid. However, for most of the work, Tanaka and co's reasoning borders on bizarre--for example, because strategic bombing by itself did not win the war in the west, he argues, then it was ineffective, and therefore immoral to have been used in Japan. Really, that's the argument. A competent and unbiased historian to say nothing of ethical philosopher would view this as a question of alternatives - for any given situation, what was the best and most ethical alternative. The authors utterly fail to do this in any serious way, and thus any discussion of the 'theory' of strategic bombing dissolves to not much of anything.Read more ›