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The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  11 reviews
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.
Paperback, 864 pages
Published August 6th 1996 by Vintage (first published July 30th 1995)
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Community Reviews

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Tariq Mahmood
Reading this book has provided me with a new definition of superpower. A superpower is considered a superpower only when it is successful in spreading its version of narrative, at same time rejecting all other conjectures as arbitrary.

This fantastic and extremely detailed book on the real reasons for dropping of atomic bombs on Japan will leave no doubt that the main reason was to establish USA as the new Superpower in the world. The popular narrative does not include the Soviet threat to enter
...more
Derek Ide
Pretty decisive conclusions based on exhaustive documentary research. Perhaps not for the casual reader, who will find the methodology somewhat burdensome. He sometimes misses the forests for the trees (his little swipe in the afterword at "Marxist momentum theory" is a strawman, I think), but overall it's a book anyone interested in the topic should pick up, either for a full read or for reference.
M. W.
This is such a fun read!.....well, not really. It's pretty depressing. I've been reading and rereading this book since the late 90's......and I still can't decide about the decision to use the atomic bomb. Anyone that can say that it was "right" or "wrong" with certainty, doesn't know the full story and all of its strange details. If you read this book...you'll read it more than once.
Jonnie Enloe
You only thought you knew the truth until you read this book. It is not schocking. But it is eyeopening. The blatant racism of high office in the US. It is a slow read and you have to want to know about this event before you read it. It is well worth the time. But be prepared to study. I used six books as reference during my reading which caused the unusual length to expand.
Peter Sprunger
This topic is near and dear to my heart... but this book was even too much for me. This is probably the definitive work on the subject because of the amount of research that went into it. However, that research is presented in its entirety by moving from excerpt to excerpt. This makes for a very boring read.
Sarah
Incredibly thorough and eye opening. Also very long and dense. Glad I read it but doubt I ever will again.
Andrew
Very rigorous scholarship uncovers a wealth of evidence and information that has long since sunk down the American memory hole. Challenges most mainstream historical assumptions that the A-bomb was a necessary evil...a must read.
Emily
As a reference book, this is top notch. Check out the Shimoda case it references, a whole 'nother layer of controversy added to bombing of Hiroshima, just there!
Steve
Apr 13, 2010 Steve marked it as to-read
I've read parts of this book before, but plan to read it again (and in full) in light of the Obama Administration's stated policies regarding the use of nuclear weapons.
Andy
An interesting view that proposes the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan was not a military decision but a foreign policy decision.
Andrew S  Taylor
Essential reading for anyone with strong views on the topic. Guaranteed to change your perspective on many things.
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