The Columbia Guide to Hiroshima and the Bomb

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Overview

Few aspects of American military history have been as vigorously debated as Harry Truman's decision to use atomic bombs against Japan. In this carefully crafted volume, Michael Kort describes the wartime circumstances and thinking that form the context for the decision to use these weapons, surveys the major debates related to that decision, and provides a comprehensive collection of key primary source documents that illuminate the behavior of the United States and Japan during the closing days of World War II.

Kort opens with a summary of the debate over Hiroshima as it has evolved since 1945. He then provides a historical overview of thye events in question, beginning with the decision and program to build the atomic bomb. Detailing the sequence of events leading to Japan's surrender, he revisits the decisive battles of the Pacific War and the motivations of American and Japanese leaders. Finally, Kort examines ten key issues in the discussion of Hiroshima and guides readers to relevant primary source documents, scholarly books, and articles.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs - Lawrence D. Freedman
Lucid and careful summaries of the issues...[a] substantial and well-chosen collection of documents from American and Japanese sources
American Reference Books Annual - Joe P. Dunn
Not only comprehensive but so engaging... This is a book for every library.
Journal of Cold War Studies - Robert James Maddox
An indispensable book.
H-Diplo - Philip Nash
Innovative.
Peace and Change - Jay Larson
By giving the nuclear debate life before the Cold War, Kort revitalizes it for a new complex era. The Columbia Guide to Hiroshima and the Bomb makes a valuable contribution.
Reference & Research Book News
A rich resource to the complex and often profoundly controversial questions surrounding the bomb of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Foreign Affairs
Lucid and careful summaries of the issues...[a] substantial and well-chosen collection of documents from American and Japanese sources

— Lawrence D. Freedman

American Reference Books Annual

Michael Kort is a professor of social science at Boston University

Not only comprehensive but so engaging... This is a book for every library.

— Joe P. Dunn

Journal of Cold War Studies
An indispensable book.

— Robert James Maddox

H-Diplo
Innovative.

— Philip Nash

Peace and Change

By giving the nuclear debate life before the Cold War, Kort revitalizes it for a new complex era. The Columbia Guide to Hiroshima and the Bomb makes a valuable contribution.

— Jay Larson

American Reference Books Annual
Not only comprehensive but so engaging... This is a book for every library.

— Joe P. Dunn

Peace & Change
By giving the nuclear debate life before the Cold War, Kort revitalizes it for a new complex era. The Columbia Guide to Hiroshima and the Bomb makes a valuable contribution.

— Jay Larson

American Reference Books AnnualMichael Kort is a professor of social science at Boston University's

Not only comprehensive but so engaging... This is a book for every library.

— Joe P. Dunn

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Kort is a professor of social science at Boston University's College of General Studies. He is the author of several books on the Soviet Union and Cold War history including The Handbook of the Former Soviet Union; The Soviet Colossus: History and Aftermath; and The Columbia Guide to the Cold War.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     xiii
Historical Narrative     1
The Debate Over Hiroshima     3
Building the Atomic Bomb     14
The Pacific War     28
The Decision to Drop the Bomb     46
The Japanese Government, Ketsu-Go, and Potsdam     58
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Japan's Surrender     67
Hiroshima and American Power     75
Key Questions and Interpretations     79
Resources     117
Chronology     119
Glossary of Military Terms and Abbreviations     127
Glossary of Names     131
Selected Bibliography     135
Archival Collections     135
Government Publications     135
Microfilm Document Collections     136
Published Document Collections     136
Interviews and Personal Communications     137
Books, Articles, and Transcripts     137
Web sites     145
Documents     147
Guide to the Documents     149
American Civilian Documents     171
American Military Documents     240
Magic Diplomatic Summaries     277
JapaneseGovernment Documents, Military Documents, and Diary Entries     291
Japanese Surrender Documents     323
United States Strategic Bombing Survey: Summary Report and Interrogations of Japanese Officials     337
Statements of Japanese Officials on World War II, Military Intelligence Section, Historical Division, U.S. Army     369
Notes     395
Index     421
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