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The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb
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The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  136 Ratings  ·  14 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

(showing 1-30 of 633)
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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
Jun 08, 2016 Dallas rated it it was amazing
This book contains all the sources, save those lost or deliberately destroyed, on the choice to drop the atomic weapons on Japan at the end of World War Two. I am enjoying the work very much. It is divided into two parts: the historical evidence of the choice to drop the bomb and the creation of the official tale of inevitability: the popular story that it was either the choice to drop the bombs or the certain slaughter of millions of American troops on the beaches of Japan. Both sections are c ...more
Fred Sampson
Aug 10, 2015 Fred Sampson rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly researched and documented, in depth investigation of the evidence behind the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Compellingly argues that dropping the bombs was not necessary to end the war, but was rather a move to establish US dominance over the Soviet Union in the new world order. Alperovitz carefully reminds the reader at every turn how we got there, what are the relevant facts, and how they differ from the received wisdom. Outstanding work.
Derek Ide
Jan 07, 2014 Derek Ide rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 01, 2008 M. W. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humanities
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'll read it more than once.
Jonnie Enloe
Aug 25, 2011 Jonnie Enloe rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 14, 2016 Chris rated it liked it
Very detailed look into Washington at the time of the decision to drop the atomic bomb. Very surprised to learn about waiting for the Soviet invasion of Marchuria and the US (Truman/Stimson/Byrnes) to drop the bomb before that declaration. Also interesting to see Japan wanting to keep their emperor, as a diety.
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.
Jul 28, 2007 Andrew rated it it was amazing
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.
May 12, 2012 Emily rated it liked it
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!
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.
Jan 28, 2008 Andy rated it really liked it
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
Nov 06, 2009 Andrew S Taylor rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for anyone with strong views on the topic. Guaranteed to change your perspective on many things.
Dec 10, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Incredibly thorough and eye opening. Also very long and dense. Glad I read it but doubt I ever will again.
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