SOCIAL SCIENCES

140 Days to Hiroshima: The Story of Japan’s Last Chance to Avert Armageddon

Diversion. Apr. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781635765816. $27.99. HIST
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Several books have been written about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, but, here, military historian Barrett offers a unique glimpse at the political negotiations between the United States and Japan in the weeks leading up to and directly after the bombings. Focusing on the politicians themselves, as well as the generals who were leading the fight in both Japan and America, the text presents a nearly day-by-day look at the negotiations. The Japanese generals on the “committee of six” were determined to continue the war, even after the bombs were dropped. The American generals advocated an invasion of the Japanese homeland, while American politicians focused on the projected Allied causalities and attempted to find a way to avoid invading Japan. The text is straightforward, though abrupt shifts in points of view are occasionally confusing.
VERDICT This look at the negotiations surrounding the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is appropriate for any beginning World War II scholar.

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