- Paperback: 864 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New ed. edition (August 6, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067976285X
- ISBN-13: 978-0679762850
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.7 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 50 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb New ed. Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Historian Alperovitz argues that America's use of the atomic bomb on Japan was motivated by politics rather than by military necessity.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The president of the National Center for Economic Alternatives argues that against all advice President Truman was persuaded to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima by incoming Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, who saw the bomb as an important tool for dealing with the Soviets after the war.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
History of World War II-serious reader knows -is riddled with myths,controversies.For a long time events building up to nuclear bombing of Hiroshima,Nagasaki were shrouded in mystery.However this book has shed lot of light on the subject thanks to author's access to some confidential documents,files, memos now declassified under FOIA .Based on this author has argued that nuclear bombing was wholly unwarranted in effecting Japan's surrender.
Because Japan by July 1945-as expert opinion shows-was defeated.American land ,naval forces were few hundred miles away from home islands.Situation was desperate; Tokyo intiated diplomatic moves to end the war.With Emperor's blessings Foreign minister Shigemitsu Togo tried to find out through Japanese ambassador in Moscow wheather Russia was willing to help Japan bring about peace.Thanks to intelligence derived from Purple decrypts Americans knew Japan's plight.However they were few stumbling blocks.One was Tokyo's desire to preserve Emperor.
If President Truman had clarified the proposition that by unconditional surrender he meant Japanese armed forces and not the royalty, Tokyo would have capitulated.Such course of action apart from ensuring Japan's surrender would have stopped Soviet entry into Far Eastern war on its tracks.This makes ridiculous official claim that nuclear bombing was essential to hasten Japan's surrender.
Paradoxically, [after nuclear bombing ]US allowed Japanese to retain their emperor.If only President Truman guranteed the safety ,sanctity of the Emperor while issuing Potsdam declaration this terrible human tragedy could have been averted.Unfortunately coming under the baneful influence of his secretay of state Byrnes he botched it.
Concomitantly it also implies despite nuclear bombing Tokyo would have continued to resist to the bitter end if Americans were to dissolve the Imperial House.So the theory that atomic bombing precipitated japan's surrender is a myth.Rather it had more to do with American tussle with Soviet Union for the control of postwar Eastern Europe.By bombing Japan US wanted to send Moscow a strong lesson.
Final section of the book makes a shocking reading.Here author has shown why American public blindly endorsed official version of events.Because during immediate post war years Government was engaged in a massive disinformation campaign.Facts which were not in consonance with official view were either distorted,fudged or suppressed .Striking demonstration of phenomena how facts of history can be molded to serve preconceived aims and objectives of ruling elites.Perhaps President wanted to cover up the fact that he commited dastardly crime that would put even Mongols to shame.
This book is lavishly documented;scrupulously researched.Hence very thick and voluminous.But on the negative side exceedingly
verbose replete with euphemisms.One requires abundant free time
and exceptional interest to finish reading it.so I don't recommend it for casual readers.
The second part of the book is the more interesting and the most relevant. Alperovitz wants to know where the notion of "one million American dead" in an invasion of the Japanese home islands came from. Trying to pinpoint this source in time and person is daunting. Trying to understand just how it came to be such sanctified common knowledge as to provoke a fire storm of controversy for even investigating it is even harder.
This second part is vital. We must know where our myths get forged. Whether one regards Alperovitz as a "partisan" or not, the investigation must be had, and intellectual honesty, as well as democratic health depend on such questions.