AUTHORAlperovitz, Gar
TITLEAtomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam
PUBLISHERPenguin Books
CITYNew York, NY

Originally published in 1965, this book presents evidence that was new at the time about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and informs the reader about the motivations behind American foreign policy toward the Soviet Union during and after World War II. The author researched diaries of Truman and his top advisers, and he concludes that it was unnecessary to use the atomic bombs because the United States knew that Japan was close to surrender. Alperovitz argues that the United States used the atomic bomb as a diplomatic tool to drive negotiations with the Soviets at the Potsdam Conference. In his interpretation of the conclusion of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, the author does not focus on the issue of “why it was decided to use the bomb, but rather, how policy makers came to assume the bomb would be used, and why they never questioned the assumption” (p. 64). A lengthy introduction was added to the 1985 edition. Much of the material in this work is also contained in the author's later volume, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architure of an American Myth published in 1995.

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