Review by Choice Review
This study attacks those who query the motives for the use of atomic weapons against Japan in 1945. Was Japan ready to surrender prior to their use? Was the end of the war deferred in order to impress the Soviets with the new US military technology? Were the estimates of US casualties inflated to justify the decision? These questions at the center of this case against the Hiroshima revisionists are analyzed by several strategies: a critical exegesis of the arguments of Gar Alperovitz, revisionism's "most influential champion"; the impact of the A-bombs on Japan's decision to surrender; analyses of the estimates of the "butcher's bill," had the US invaded the Japanese mainland, including the evidence of the mass production of Purple Hearts; assessments of the impact of the strategic bombing missions; an assessment of the Enola Gay imbroglio at the Smithsonian; and a critique of Japanese assessments. While military, political, and psychological evidence supporting the decision for nuclear intervention is clear, the ethical dimension is left aside, as at least one contributor notes. Also, if not the primary reason for its use, the demonstration of US nuclear power did serve to deliver a geopolitical message to the Soviets: they had to catch up. Summing Up: Recommended. Most levels/libraries. B. Osborne Queen's University at Kingston
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