AUTHORGordin, Michael D.
TITLEFive Days in August: How World War II Became a Nuclear War
PUBLISHERPrinceton University Press
CITYPrinceton, NJ

This book revisits the role of the atomic bomb in bringing a rapid end to World War II and the repercussions of its use. The narrative describes how the bomb was initially conceived by the military as a tactical weapon, not a strategic one. Two chapters address the rationale for its use and the timing of the attacks. The next two chapters provide the U.S. military's view of events in the summer of 1945 from Tinian Island, the location that was the origin of the A-bomb missions to Japan. The last two chapters address the morphing of the bomb into an extraordinary weapon in the year after the Japanese surrender and finally the role of nuclear weapons in the arms race of the Cold War. The book is well researched and provides yet another view of that seminal period in history. Extensive footnotes provide a useful bibliography for the diverse topics presented by the author.

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