Here is an extract from my review of 'Hiroshima's Shadows', that appeared in 'New Politics', no. 25 (Summer 1998):
'Hiroshima's Shadow: Writings on the Denial of History and the Smithsonian Controversy' is an enormous, and aesthetically handsome work, bringing together nearly 50 essays between between 1945 and 1997 by scholars, military, political and religious leaders, independent intellectuals, and survivors of the atomic bombings. The book is unusual in that, though it has a strong editorial point of view, the editors unflinchingly present voices from all sides of the argument.
The contribors include Albert Camus, Dwight Macdonald, Lewis Mumford, Mary McCarthy, A.J. Muste, among others. Defenders of the bomb include Charles Krauthammer who says that we should "let the Japanese commemorate the catastrophe they brought on themselves" (rather than mourn the use of the bomb), and Paul Fussel, an English professor and ex-front line combatant, who raises the slogan, "thank god for the atomic bomb." An even wider range of ideological positions is represented on the side of the critics: Lifschultz and Bird have recovered an anti-bomb editorial from the paleo-right-wing 'Human Events' and placed it alongside the observations of Mahatma Gandhi and Norman Thomas. As the editors put it, "the usual distinctions of left and right on economic and social issues were not reliable guides which could accurately predt what people thought about Hiroshima."
A substantial section of the book contains memoirs of a few survivors. These memoirs underscore the enduring reality that it was civilians, not military objectives, who were then, and remain, the prime target of nuclear weapons.