Historian Gar Alperovitz shares the history of America’s use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Contrary to what most of us learned in school, many of the top military officers and intelligence officials were adamant at the time that use of the bombs was unnecessary to get the Japanese to surrender, which they expected to happen as soon as the Soviet Union invaded. The bombs were used instead as a political maneuver to intimidate the Russians, but which of course only led to the disastrous arms race of the cold war.
Discussed on the show:
- “The War Was Won Before Hiroshima—And the Generals Who Dropped the Bomb Knew It” (The Nation)
- Potsdam Conference
- “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)” (IMDb)
- Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. Byrnes
- The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (50th Anniversary Edition)
Gar Alperovitz is a historian, political economist, activist, and writer. He has taught at the University of Maryland, Cambridge University, and Harvard and is the author of Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. Follow his work at his website www.garalperovitz.com.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Washinton Babylon; Liberty Under Attack Publications; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.