AUTHORLifton, Robert Jay / Mitchell, Greg
TITLEHiroshima in America: Fifty Years of Denial
PUBLISHERG.P. Putnam's Sons
CITYNew York, NY

The authors of this book describe the profound effect the bombing of Hiroshima had on American politics, ethics, and sense of history. Written in the wake of the controversy over the Smithsonian Enola Gay exhibit, the 1995 book evaluates the raw nerve of American conscience over the bombing. It traces public understanding of the bomb starting with President Truman’s announcement to the American public on August 6, 1945, and the official story that unfolded. The authors discuss the impact of Hersey’s Hiroshima on public consciousness, and the reassertion of the official story with Stimson’s article. A major section of the book provides a psychological analysis of Truman, and an assessment of the factors that influenced his decision to use the atomic bomb. The book then examines both sides of the debate, describing the view of the veteran in contrast to that of the scientist and activist. It closes with a darker section that describes a numbing of America with visions of apocalypse and national self-betrayal through horrific pollution.

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