The atomic bombings of Japan remain one of the most controversial and momentous episodes of the twentieth century. One fact is clear: the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan on August 6 and August 9, 1945. After that, there are many questions for which there are many more answers: Why did President Truman decide to use the bombs? How did he and American military leaders understand that decision? How did the people on whom it fell understand the event? What effect did the bombs have on the Japanese decision to surrender? Is it possible that impressing the Soviet Union was a main reason for dropping the bombs? How did American leaders assess the usefulness of the bombs at the time? How did that assessment change over time? This course does not attempt to establish definitive answers to these and related questions, but it does examine a range of primary and secondary sources that help us examine how people have attempted answers. One goal of this course is to examine the methodological issues of truth and understanding in history through this central episode of twentieth-century history.
COURSE FORMAT: Lecture/Discussion
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST Grading Mode: Graded
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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