Taking the example of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima as a case in point, Francis Winters analyzes the ethics of warfare, demonstrating how the examples of World War II hold relevance to the contemporary world. The volume examines the ethics of Japan's refusal to surrender and seeks to balance the verdict of responsibility for Hiroshima by extending the analysis to the ethics of the end of the war. It also illustrates how two displays of American naval and munitions power had an impact on Japan comparable to the September 11, 2001 assaults on America. Linking his study with two contemporary films on Iwo Jima, the author illustrates how the 1940s were an era of costly triumph that can still inspire national pride in American citizens. Unique in concept and approach, this volume will have relevance to scholars interested in both historical and contemporary politics, US-Japan relations as well as foreign policy and the ethics of warfare.
Table of Contents
Contents: Prologue: Structure of the ethical argument; A comet, a tsunami, a cloud: the drama of Japan-United States relations, 1853-1941; The ballet of blood: the final struggles between Japan and the United States: Iwo Jima and Okinawa; Deus ex machina: Hirohito intervenes to demand surrender; Truman decides; The crucible of conscience: 5 judgements on Hiroshima; Bibliography; Index
'Remembering Hiroshima is an original and important contribution to the scholarly literature on the decision by US President Harry Truman to drop the atomic bomb on Japanese cities. Francis X. Winters combines careful historical and ethical analyses to reach the conclusion that under certain rare, exceptional circumstances one may override the traditional just-war prohibition against the direct targeting of civilians.' Gregory A. Raymond, Boise State University, USA 'Few wartime decisions have generated the level of controversy surrounding the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. This comprehensive study analyzes the historical context, assesses the range of tough alternatives available to policymakers, and explores the ethical acceptability of Truman's decision through the prism of just war theory. Whether one shares the author's views or not, this volume is a welcome addition to the debate.' George Andreopoulos, City University of New York, USA