Controversial in nature, this book demonstrates that the United States did not need to use the atomic bomb against Japan. Alperovitz criticizes one of the most hotly debated precursory events to the Cold War, an event that was largely responsible for the evolution of post-World War II American politics and culture.
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"A massively detailed yet fascinating and readable work of scholarship."--San Francisco ChronicleFrom Booklist:
Alperovitz is the dean of revisionist scholars who argue that the nuclear bombing of Japan was unnecessary and that America bears a hefty responsibility for the cold war. Since he established his reputation in the mid-1960s, secret documents regarding the run-up to Enola Gay's takeoff have come to light, which Alperovitz believes strengthen his case. His main and probably most controversial contention is that certain documents pertaining to the decision were doctored, some by none other than Truman himself. Further, Alperovitz sees James Byrnes, Truman's Mephistophelian secretary of state, as a furtive player who nixed such alternative plans as modifying the unconditional-surrender demand and encouraging a Russian declaration of war. What about the military leaders, many of whom expressed regrets about the wisdom of the decision, albeit post facto? Alperovitz presents documents that suggest their invasion plans were notional exercises, not realistic probabilities. But his point about their regrets opens the way to his major thesis: deceit by ex-officials, over the decades, has convinced the public that the bombings were justified. Formidably researched, this challenging landmark history may not automatically convert Alperovitz's revisionist views into the new orthodoxy, but they will be referred to for proof or refutation for years to come. Gilbert Taylor
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Book Description HarperCollins, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2556146