AUTHORAnders, G√ľnther / Eatherly, Claude
TITLEBurning Conscience
PUBLISHERParagon House
CITYNew York, NY
DATE PUBLISHED1961
ISBN1-55778-254-7


This book presents the correspondence between a German philosopher and Claude Eatherly, who flew the lead B-29 bomber over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and voiced the command to drop the atomic bomb. By the early 50s, Eatherly suffered from a powerful guilt complex, had a nervous breakdown, and entered a mental hospital in Waco, Texas. Gunther Anders, a German philosopher, read an article about Eatherly in Newsweek and wrote him a letter. The men corresponded for two years. The initial topic of the letters is the lingering guilt that the nuclear perpetrators feel, and how Eatherly can deal with it. The letters evolve into a broader discussion of the need to curb nuclear proliferation. Anders writes that human technology has dramatically outstripped human morality. The two discuss the guilt and moral decay of human civilization being defined and controlled by the existence of nuclear weapons. They discuss the need to create alternative moral institutions to the state and religion and reexamine their values and loyalties.


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