Tyson Adams's Reviews > Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan

Among the Dead Cities by A.C. Grayling
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Comments while reading:
Grayling writes like he is trying to fit entire paragraphs into his sentences.

Shaun made a good video recently covering the bombing of Japan. The take-away is that area bombing was used in Japan very deliberately to attack non-military targets so that it would be noticed (have the most psychological impact) and force the Japanese to a quicker full concession. I.e. The allies wanted to carve up Japan without any negotiations (which Japan had been requesting for quite some time at that point) and preferably before Stalin got involved.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCRTg...

This review makes a couple of very interesting comments. The parts about Churchill are to be expected as many are unaware of just how terrible he was and how he essentially genocided Bengal among just some of his deeds. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
https://crimesofbritain.com/the-crime...

Culturcide: an interesting idea. Military were trying to effectively wipe out not just industry used for war, but also culture and society. Send the Germans back to an agrarian state with bombing of all cities with more than 100k people. That's pretty dark.

If there is a summary of the bombing, bombed, and resistance sections of this book, I think it would be the words righteous anger and malevolence. There was a level of malevolence to those in charge of targeting civilians. They justify these actions, but ultimately they have an enemy they want to attack and hurt. And their supporters tend to be fueled by righteous anger. This enemy attacks us, let's attack them back, let's pay it back 10-fold.

In amongst that, it is comforting to read that there were those who pointed out the depravity of these actions. Often the people least likely to want "revenge" were those who had suffered, realising that others would suffer too.

Less heartening is how common that righteous anger is deployed even now. Whether it be against other countries, other peoples, other ideas, criminals, etc., the common theme is wanting to make others suffer for some perceived sleight. Yet no one seems to want to stop that cycle of violence and find a different way to right wrongs.

In the case against, Grayling starts by pointing out moral philosophy is dealing with agreed values across humanity. But then, for some reason, he makes a simplistic jab at pacifists and their rejection of just war... Sure, tell me all about how fascists suddenly sprang forth the day war was declared, and that there was no chance to stop them prior, nor direct causes for their creation in the post-WW1 policies of the allies.
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Reading Progress

October 23, 2019 – Shelved
October 23, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
December 28, 2020 – Started Reading
January 11, 2021 –
page 0
0.0% "Grayling writes like he is trying to fit entire paragraphs into his sentences."

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