The Holocaust and the Atomic Bomb: Fifty Years Later The Atomic Bomb And American Memory - Essay

The Atomic Bomb And American Memory

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Michael R. Beschloss (review date 30 July 1995)

SOURCE: "Did We Need to Drop It?," in The New York Times Book Review, July 30, 1995, pp. 10-11.

[An American historian, Beschloss has written extensively on American diplomatic history. In the review below, he remarks on Gar Alperovitz's The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth and Thomas B. Allen and Norman Polmar's Code-Name Downfall.]

For 20 years after Harry Truman ordered the atomic bomb dropped on Japan in August 1945, most American scholars and citizens subscribed to the original, official version of the story: the President had acted to avert a...

(The entire section is 18472 words.)