What Every Global Citizen Needs to Know About the Decision to A-Bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki

July 25, 2020 – Four historians, Gar Alperovitz, Martin Sherwin, Kai Bird, and Peter Kuznick, each of whom has written extensively on the topic, will discuss the documentary evidence and assess the current state of knowledge about the bombings in a webinar open to people from around the world.

Gar Alperovitz, formerly a Fellow of Kings College Cambridge, the Institute of Politics at Harvard, and Lionel Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, is the author of Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. He is currently a Principal of The Democracy Collaborative, an independent research institution in Washington, D.C.

Martin Sherwin, University Professor of History, George Mason University, is author of A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies, winner of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relation’s Bernath Book Prize, co-author with Kai Bird of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography, and author of Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis, forthcoming in September 2020.

Kai Bird, Executive Director, CUNY Graduate Center’s Leon Levy Center for Biography, co-author (with Martin Sherwin) of Pulitzer Prize-winning American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, co-editor (with Lawrence Lifschultz) Hiroshima’s Shadow, and author The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment.

Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, Director, Nuclear Studies Institute, American University, co-author (with Akira Kimura), Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives, co-author (with Oliver Stone) of the New York Times best-selling The Untold History of the United States (books and documentary film series), and author “The Decision to Risk the Future: Harry Truman, the Atomic Bomb and the Apocalyptic Narrative.”
0:00 to 19:14 setup

Martin Sherwin
19:44 How do we know what we know?
Kai Bird
23:56 Why cant we talk about Nuclear Bombs in our society?
26:02 we dropped the bomb without a warning
26:44 Did the bomb save 1 million American lives?
29:11 The Japanese were going to surrender
Gar Alperovitz
31:54 military leaders at the time said the bomb was unnecessary
34:58 The decision makers and evidence of their attitudes
37:52 The Potsdam Declaration, the proclamation defining terms for Japanese surrender
Peter Kuznick
39:06 more on Military leaders at the time
40:45 Harry Truman’s attitude
42:34 what the Japanese said about surrender
44:04 What our leaders understood at the time
47:05 The purpose of dropping the bombs

48:10 Barbara Cochran – The role of journalist
49:46 Kai Bird on the role of journalists
51:14 Gar Alperovitz on the role of journalists
54:08 Peter Kuznick on journalists, the Left, the Religious and the Public’s responses
59:15 Why did we drop a 2nd bomb
1:00:35 Was a demonstration of the A-Bomb considered as a way to end the war
1:01:33 Why didn’t Japan surrender after the first bomb
1:04:42 Why isn’t this ever discussed?
1:13:18 how does this relate to today’s debate on nuclear proliferation
1:15:48 Walter Pincus – The bombs were built as weapons of terror
1:21:32 Did Hiroshima/Nagasaki prevent future uses?
1:41:17 What is the danger of all these nations having a nuclear stockpile
1:43:38 the latest studies about nuclear winter
1:45:48 How would you describe Russia’s nuclear policy
1:49:16 about the insane accumulation of nuclear weapons
1:56:47 silent staring at screen

For more information contact:
Peter Kuznick pkuznick@aol.com or Glenn Marcus dcguy614@aol.com


The Decisions to Bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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