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In this concise account of why America used atomic bombs against Japan in 1945, J. Samuel Walker analyzes the reasons behind President Truman's most controversial decision. Delineating what was known and not known by American leaders at the time, Walker evaluates the roles of U.S.-Soviet relations and of American domestic politics. In this new edition, Walker takes into account recent scholarship on the topic, including new information on the Japanese decision to surrender. He has also revised the book to place more emphasis on the effect of the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in convincing the emperor and his advisers to quit the war. Rising above an often polemical debate, Walker presents an accessible synthesis of previous work and an important, original contribution to our understanding of the events that ushered in the atomic age.
Preface Chapter 1. A Categorical Choice?
Chapter 2. The Most Terrible Weapon Ever Known Chapter 3. The Prospects for Victory, June 1945
Chapter 4. Paths to Victory Chapter 5. Truman and the Bomb at Potsdam Chapter 6. Hiroshima and Nagasaki Chapter 7. Hiroshima in History Chronology: Key Events of 1945 Relating to the Pacific War Notes Essay on Sources
1. Marshall and Stimson, January 1942
2. Damage to Tokyo from firebombing
3. Japanese kamikaze attack off Okinawa
4. Truman, Byrnes, and Leahy en route to Potsdam
5. Test explosion of atomic bomb, July 16, 1945
6. Churchill, Truman, and Stalin at Potsdam
7. Hiroshima after the atomic attack
8. Nagasaki before and after the atomic bomb
9. Editorial cartoon, "The Fellow Who Lighted the Fuse"