Ultimately, Stimson's story is one of failure; despite his beliefs, Stimson reluctantly acquiesced in the use of the atomic bomb against heavily populated Japanese cities in August 1945. This is the first biography of Stimson to benefit from extensive use of papers relating to the Manhattan Project; Malloy has also uncovered evidence illustrating the origins of Stimson's commitment to eliminating or refining the conduct of war against civilians, information that makes clear the agony of Stimson's dilemma.
The ultimate aim of Atomic Tragedy is not only to contribute to a greater historical understanding of the first use of nuclear weapons but also to offer lessons from the decision-making process during the years 1940-1945 that are applicable to the current world environment. As the United States mobilizes scientists and engineers to build new and supposedly more "usable" nuclear weapons and as nations in Asia and the Middle East are replicating the feat of the Manhattan Project physicists at Los Alamos, it is more important than ever that policymakers and analysts recognize the chain of failures surrounding the first use of those weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Click for the original review.
The first and next-to-last use of atomic weapons in warfare was the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945. The project to develop the first atomic bomb during World War II was known as the Manhattan District, or informally the Manhattan Project. Los Alamos, New Mexico, was a city created for the purpose of housing the sicentific staff working on the development of the atomic bomb in World War II.