- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Praeger (May 23, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0275954757
- ISBN-13: 978-0275954758
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,051,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb
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"Readers will be indebted to Wainstock for his use of US Strategic Bombing Survey interrogations of Japanese leaders as well as material from the Kido Family Documents at the National Diet Library in Tokyo....Wainstock makes an honest effort to examine all sides of the subject."-Parameters
?Readers will be indebted to Wainstock for his use of US Strategic Bombing Survey interrogations of Japanese leaders as well as material from the Kido Family Documents at the National Diet Library in Tokyo....Wainstock makes an honest effort to examine all sides of the subject.?-Parameters
About the Author
DENNIS D. WAINSTOCK is an Associate Professor of History at Salem-Teikyo University in Salem, West Virginia. He is the author of The Turning Point: The 1968 Presidential Campaign.
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Top customer reviews
I think the reviewer talking about a "deep lack of knowledge about the wider period in time surrounding the narrowly focused events he(ie. the author) describes", is clearly exaggerating or out of his mind. Given the research necessary to produce this book, I don't need to give the author the benefit of the doubt in terms of his knowldege of the "wider period" mentioned. You can't write such an exceptional book if you know only the "narrowly focused events" that appear in the research.
Also, despite the subject, I think it is very easily read and offers many insights into one of the most controversial decision of the 20th century (of all times?).
Whatever one can say, the US is still the only country on the planet to have used atomic bombs on human beings (and Japan the only country to have been at the receiving end of it). A fact that some (of course (?) only Americans) take with pride, but which has to be accompanied with tremendous guilt and questioning for having unleashed such a terribly destructive power on defenseless civilians. Still a huge ethical issue nowadays, in my opinion.
The most interesting part of the book to me dealt with the Japanese "peace party". There were some who wanted to avoid the war altogether and tried to arrange a meeting with Roosevelt to defuse tentions. Even in 1942 there were a few clear sighted individuals who knew the war could not be won and wanted to start negotiations with the U.S. This tale only shows how fully the militarists were in control. Overall, however, the writing style here is dry and academic. The details that bring history to life are occasionally present but can't overcome the less than riveting presentation. This isn't something to bring to the beach. You'll have to have a serious interest in the topic in order to like it.
The author appropriately confines his personal views to the back of the book where they belong. He says repeatedly that the allied policy of unconditional surrender was "a policy of revenge". This is flat wrong and betrays a deep lack of knowledge about the wider period in time surrounding the narrowly focused events he describes. Unconditional surrender was a response to the lessons of World War I as well as the policies of appeasement that resulted in the Second World War. It's aim was to end the war without laying the seeds of future conflict. The fact that Germany and Japan have not been a threat to world peace since 1945 proves the value of this policy. Wainstock tells us that if we had only been willing to negotiate with the likes of Hitler and his pals we could have ended the war earlier and saved a lot of lives. I'm sure he hopes our government will take this approach the next time we're confronted with two powerful dictatorships bent on conquest. Let's head to the negotiating table and work out a deal - they'll be reasonable. Hey, everybody's got the right to second guess the decisions taken a half-century ago during the largest war the world has ever seen. At least the line between opinion and fact remains solid in this book.