AUTHORLanouette, William
TITLEWhy We Dropped The Bomb
PERIODICAL TITLEThe Public Interest Report
DATE PUBLISHED1995
VOLUME NUMBER2
ISSUE NUMBER1
PAGE NUMBERS28-39
ISSNn/a


This article explains what are seen to be the major motivations for dropping atomic weapons on Japan during World War II: postwar diplomacy, bureaucratic momentum, political justification, and psychological factors. It adds other factors to military advantage as the reason why the bombs were dropped. The article is part of a wave of historical reassessment that followed the controversial cancelled 1994 Smithsonian exhibit about the atomic bomb. The author includes a rational actor model of President Truman’s behavior as another way to explain his decisions. A section on the creation of and controversy over surrender terms is included, alongside a description of Japan’s surrender initiatives before August, 1945. The author avoids a conclusion on the morality of the use of atomic weapons in World War II, instead focusing on the origin of their use.



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