Hiroshima by Ronald Takaki explores the overarching reasoning behind the American dropping of the atomic bomb and the arguments that surrounded the decision. The book goes into great detail, discussing not only the obvious aspects of the tragedy, but an in depth analysis of the…
He seeks to prove that the American desire to end the war was just one of the many factors that lead to the final decision to drop the bomb.
The story around Takakis argument is the little known reasoning behind the decision to drop the atomic bomb. Instead of simply focusing on the most accepted reason, to end the war, he explores other factors other than the obvious. His study of Harry Trumans letters to his wife, sister, mother, and his secret Potsdam Diary to open a "way to a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the reasons for the atomic attack" (Takaki 5). By analyzing the feelings of the President he succeeds in bringing together the many factors that led to the end decision. He proves to the reader the overwhelming postwar concern that Truman and other leaders felt and their urgency to exert their world power and dominance towards Stalin and Soviet expansion. As Robert Griffith reveals in his article for The American Historical Review Dwight D Eisenhower was aware of these postwar concerns writing, “Eisenhower struggled to strike a balance among the competing claims of the services and his letters are filled with angry denunciations of military self interest” (Griffith 96). Takaki reveals that in the beginning the atomic bomb was intended to target Germany, not Japan and that it was later determined that Germany did not have any atomic capabilities therefore diminishing the threat.
Takaki then questions why the bomb was then dropped on Japan, a country we also knew did not have any atomic capabilities. He says, "The reason for this acceleration was not the possibility of Japanese atomic threat. Japan lacked the resources and technical knowledge to become a nuclear power" (Takaki 20). As Andrew Rotter confirms in his book review for the Journal of American History, “Japans nascent bomb project was ...
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