“The basic idea of peace is to have some understanding of other people’s pain.”
Harry S. Truman’s grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, tells the moving story of his trip to Japan to attend the memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the anniversary of the dropping of the bombs. Listen on The Moth.
Robert James Maddox discusses the contentious decision to bomb Japan in Hiroshima in History: The Myths of Revisionism. From the introduction:
“The use of atomic bombs against Japan at the end of World War II remains one of the most controversial issues in American history. Those who defend the decision claim that it ended a bloody war that would have become far bloodier had the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands proved necessary. Although the primary consideration was saving American lives, according to this view, millions of Japanese also were spared the catastrophic effects of an invasion coupled with round-the-clock conventional bombing, naval bombardment, and blockade. Those who have become known as ‘Hiroshima revisionists’ contend that this version of events is nothing more than a postwar myth concocted by Harry S. Truman and his advisers to make more palatable what was basically a political rather than a military decision.”
For more on Harry S. Truman, the University of Missouri Press has an extensive collection of books on his life and presidency on our website.