In the coming days we will once again mark the passing of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I have written two pieces that address this subject, and believe it appropriate to provide links for those who might not have seen these when first posted.
The first post is a review of The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, by Gar Alperovitz. In this well researched volume, the author first analyzes the decision itself – properly concluding that it was not militarily necessary to use the bomb to bring an end to the war. He then goes on to analyze the myth – if it was not militarily necessary (and many prominent politicians and military leaders said as much at the time), why do so many Americans believe it was?
The second post covers the section of Herbert Hoover’s magnum opus, Freedom Betrayed, that deals with the issue of utilizing this most abominable weapon in wartime against primarily civilian targets. (This post includes material from the Alperovitz book review, so if you only read one I might suggest to read this one.) I find Hoover’s entire volume worthwhile as it is truly rare, if not unique, to find a former president writing critically of another president’s foreign and military policy. In 150 years, I don’t believe a single president has uttered a discouraging word about Lincoln, for example.
In any case, if you missed either of these I hope you now find them worthwhile.