AUTHORAlsop, Joseph / Joravsky, David
TITLEWas the Hiroshima Bomb Necessary? An Exchange
PERIODICAL TITLEThe New York Review
DATE PUBLISHED1980
VOLUME NUMBER27
ISSUE NUMBER23 October
PAGE NUMBERS37-42
ISSN0028-7504


This set of two letters to the editor expresses opposite views of whether atomic bombs should have been used on Japan during World War II. In response to an article by David Joravsky, Joseph Alsop argues with detailed supporting evidence that any alternatives to the two bombings would have cost far more American lives, and also more Japanese lives, than the bombings did. He describes the Japanese government and the difficulty of obtaining argeement among its leadership to surrender even after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. In reply, Joravsky states that there was no real consideration of alternatives to using the atomic bombs. He explains that insufficient time was allowed between the use of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and on Nagasaki for the Japanese government to assess and comprehend the damage and to react. He argues that a non-lethal demonstration could have been effective. He also points out that Japanese feelers for peace had already been received and ignored by the Allies.


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