Atomic Diplomacy

Atomic Diplomacy : Hiroshima and Potsdam

3.37 (40 ratings by Goodreads)
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This book provides important new evidence to support the thesis that the primary reason for bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not to end the war in Japan, as was said at the time, but to `make the Russians more manageable'.

Drawing on recently released diaries and records of Truman, Eisenhower and others, Alperovitz re-evaluates the assumptions, hesitations and decisions that precipitated the use of atomic weapons and traces how possession of the bomb changed American strategy toward the Soviet Union at the Potsdam Conference and helped to set it on a course that contributed to the swift beginning of the Cold War.

Most historians of the period now agree that diplomatic considerations related to the Soviet Union played a major role in the decision to use the bomb. Atomic Diplomacy pioneered this new understanding. Today we still live in Hiroshima's shadow; this path breaking work is timely and urgent reading for anyone interested in the history - and future - of peace and war.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 414 pages
  • 150 x 230 x 30.99mm | 598.74g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 074530947X
  • 9780745309477
  • 1,894,410

Table of contents

Author's Note


Introduction to the 1985 edition The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagaski


1. The Strategy of an Immediate Showdown

2. The Strategy of a Delayed Showdown

3. The Decision to Postpone a Confrontation with Stalin

4. The Far East and Two Faces of the Strategy of Delay

5. The Tactics of the Potsdam Conference (I)

6. The Tactics of the Potsdam Conference (II)

7. American Diplomacy Takes the Offensive

8. Conclusions

Appendix I: A Note on the Historical Debate Over Questions Concerning Truman's 1945 Strategy of Delay

Appendix II: Excerpts from a 1946 US Intelligence Report

Appendix III: Stimson's Unsuccessful Attempt to Change the Strategy of Delay Before Leaving Office

Appendix IV: 'Atomic Warfare and the Christian Faith': A Report from the Federal Council of Churches, 1946

Appendix V: Excerpts from 'The Challenge of Peace': National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letter on War and Peace, 1983

Bibliography of Important Sources


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Review quote

'Since its publication almost everyone who has written about the beginning of the atomic age has praised or denounced the book' -- New York Times 'A daring and elaborate work of historical reconstruction' -- New York Review of Books
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About Gar Alperovitz

Gar Alperovitz is a historian and political economist and is President of the National Center for Economic Alternatives in Washington DC. He has been a fellow of Kings College Cambridge and the Kennedy Institute at Harvard. He has contributed to many publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Nation. A BBC special on Alperovitz's work was screened 1989.
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Rating details

40 ratings
3.37 out of 5 stars
5 15% (6)
4 32% (13)
3 32% (13)
2 15% (6)
1 5% (2)
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