After Hiroshima: The United States, Race, and Nuclear by Matthew Jones

By Matthew Jones

By way of emphasising the function of nuclear concerns, After Hiroshima presents a brand new heritage of yankee coverage in Asia among the shedding of the atomic bombs on Japan and the escalation of the Vietnam warfare. Drawing on quite a lot of documentary facts, Matthew Jones charts the advance of yank nuclear procedure and the international coverage difficulties it raised, because the usa either faced China and tried to win the friendship of an Asia rising from colonial domination. In underlining American perceptions that Asian peoples observed the potential repeat use of nuclear guns as a manifestation of Western attitudes of 'white superiority', he bargains new insights into the hyperlinks among racial sensitivities and the behavior folks coverage, and a clean interpretation of the transition in American technique from enormous retaliation to versatile reaction within the period spanned by way of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

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Additional info for After Hiroshima: The United States, Race, and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945-1965

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Living with the Bomb, 158–9; and Takemae, Allied Occupation of Japan, 428–31. In the shadow of Hiroshima 35 to victims (which might imply guilt or involve an admission of responsibility). There was also an aversion by American officials to attaching any kind of moral opprobrium to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by according the survivors any special status. 118 Many Japanese hence developed a high degree of scorn for the work of the commission, one newspaper editor, for example, remarking that the people of Hiroshima were ‘indignant and feel they were treated like guinea pigs – just models for theoretical experiments .

See Richard H. Minear, Victor’s Justice: The Tokyo War Crimes Trial (Princeton, 1971), 33, n. 29; and Takemae, Allied Occupation of Japan, 250. 114 As John Dower has highlighted, the particular horror of nuclear attack tended to be absorbed by most Japanese commentary into a revulsion against the cruelty of war in general. While awareness that Japan had slipped into a different category because of the means that had been used to bring about its defeat was always latent beneath the surface of popular opinion, the atomic bombings were to become an essential aspect of what some Japanese regarded as a necessary attitude of atonement or repentance in the decades after 1945.

28 After Hiroshima himself. S. 86 Implicit in this statement, crafted at a time when the United States still held a nuclear monopoly, was the notion that the tremendous destructiveness of nuclear weapons might, in some circumstances, undermine the wider goals of the United States, which were not always reducible to the military’s capability to overawe any adversary. 87 Truman’s allusions were part of a general perception shared by many observers, both Western and Asian, that the bomb was perhaps the best illustration of the insidious effects of science, technology and ‘progress’.

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