Prompt And Utter Destruction Analysis

989 Words 4 Pages
Brian Gutierrez
J. Samuel Walker, Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004). In Prompt and Utter Destruction by J. Samuel Walker, there is a lot to be said when talking about the use of atomic bombs. Throughout the book, Walker breaks down the choice made by President Harry S. Truman and analyzes some of the myths that are brought up when talking about the end of World War II. The thesis to Prompt and Utter Destruction was not as straight forward as it was in Manliness and Civilization. From my understanding, throughout the entire book, Walker was trying to get across to the reader, “was the bombing of Hiroshima really necessary” (5)? Another valid
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Not only are there many misconceptions on the act of the bombing itself, but about Truman and how he was as a person. To begin, Truman had won the love and affection of many Americans after his career (7). People thought of him as “honest, confident, and decisive”. Although this may not be completely inaccurate, Walker uses Historian Alonzo L. Hamby as a source and explains that Truman was also “petty, vindictive, thin-skinned, and suspicious” (7). This shows how the average American couldn’t truly believe everything when discussing about Truman and his decision to attack Japan. One of the myths that surround USA’s use of weapons of mass destruction is that Harry Truman could only choose between bombing Japan or invading them. Walker states that there were other ways to be able to end the war. According to Walker, “some important questions about the use of the bomb will never be answered in a definitive or unassailable way because they are matters of speculation, assumption, or uncertainty rather than matters of conclusive evidence” (6). What he is basically saying is that even though some people believe that he only had two choices when trying to end the war as quickly as possible, there is no real way to find out for sure because of the amount of speculation that every theory …show more content…
Walker’s stance on whether or not the bombs were necessary and should have been dropped is yes and no. He believes that the bombings were necessary to end the war as quickly as possible. He also believes that no; the nuclear attacks could have been avoided through the invasion of Japan. According to the author, “The issue of whether the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were sound, proper, and justifiable actions must be approached by fully considering the situation facing American and Japanese leaders in the summer of 1945 and by banishing the myths that have taken hold since” (110). This summarizes his position on the attacks on Japan. To be able to say whether or not the bombings should have happened, you must first understand the thought and planning that came behind this action. Walkers believes that if Truman truly didn’t want to use the bomb, he somehow could have found a way to not use it. Walker also states that he believes that any president in Truman’s positon would have found the use of the atomic bomb to be necessary. This being said, we can more clearly depict that Walker thought that the use of the atomic bomb was in a way necessary. Although, whether or not it was necessary, it was most definitely not the morally correct way to end the World War II states

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