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Dropping the Bomb

- Abstract

To the Editor:

As a historian who has great respect for the conservative tradition (and who dedicated his first book to the memory of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War under Roosevelt and Truman), I found Donald Kagan’s article, “Why America Dropped the Bomb” [September], disheartening—and not simply because it included a bitter attack on my work.

There was a time when thoughtful conservatives were willing to deal with the Hiroshima bombing with a dispassionate respect for the evidence—and, too, a profound concern for the moral and legal issues involved. Indeed, while such liberal publications as the Nation, the New Republic, and PM applauded the atomic bombings, conservatives were among the first to criticize the use of the weapon.

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