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The Target Committee (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Paul Ham
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

How did America choose the targets for the atomic bomb? What made Hiroshima preferable over Kyoto or Tokyo?

Critical to the mission to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a series of meetings set up in mid-1945 and comprising America’s most powerful military, political and scientific chiefs.

The committeemen would decide where and how the first nuclear weapons would be used in anger.

In this absorbing and provocative narrative, historian Paul Ham shines a torch on their arguments to reveal the thinking behind the atomic destruction of two cities – and how the Target Committee justified it at the time.

Quotes from The Target Committee:

‘The ideal target city for an atomic bomb should … possess sentimental value to the Japanese so its destruction would adversely affect the will of the people to continue the war’ – Major General Leslie Groves, leader of the Manhattan Project

‘Kyoto lies in the form of a cup and thus would be exceptionally vulnerable. …It is exclusively a place of homes and art and shrines’ - Henry Stimson, US War Secretary

Praise for Paul Ham’s Hiroshima Nagasaki:

‘[A] vivid, comprehensive and quietly furious account ... unearthing fresh evidence of a deeply disturbing sort...’ - Ben Macintyre, The Times.

‘Ham is a splendid storyteller, a master of engrossing narrative’ – H. Bruce Franklin, Los Angeles Review of Books.

‘An eyewitness picture that leaves Dante’s Inferno looking pale’ - Peter Lewis, Daily Mail.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 817 KB
  • Print Length: 57 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Hampress Pty Ltd (3 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #140,791 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Paul Ham has spent the past 16 years writing 20th century military, political and diplomatic history. He has written five critically acclaimed books: '1914: THE YEAR THE WORLD ENDED' (published by Random House Australia in 2013 and Random House UK in 2014); 'SANDAKAN' (Random House Australia 2011, Random House UK 2013); 'HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI' (HarperCollins Australia 2010, Random House UK 2011, Thomas Dunne USA 2014), and 'KOKODA' and 'VIETNAM: THE AUSTRALIAN WAR' (HarperCollins Australia, 2005 and 2007, respectively). Two have inspired ABC documentaries, which he co-wrote and/or narrated. Ham is a regular contributor to the Kindle Single platform and a former foreign correspondent for The London Sunday Times. He has a Masters degree in Economic History from the London School of Economics, and lives in Sydney and Paris.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and well written but too short 14 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I even felt a little deceived when I reached the end of the book and was presented with an advert for another book that gives more history on the subject.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a detailed account of how the decisions were made to drop the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I was a young scientist at the time and can vividly remember the shock when we first heard the news. It is fairly clear that although scientists were on the committees they had very little say in these decisions. Looking at the decisions now one may well be very critical of the decisions. However, I should emphasise at the time our attitudes were very different and coloured by fragmentary knowledge of how the Japanese were treating prisoners. Because I feel there might have been some comment on how attitudes were different in wartime, I give it only 4 stars. But it is certalnly well worth reading for anyone with an interest in politics and/or the use of nuclear weapons.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
So how did Hiroshima and Nagasaki get chosen as targets? This is a section of a longer book by Paul Ham, on the whold Manhattan Project (atomic bomb-development project), which situates the target selection process in a larger frame. If you haven't time to read the longer, certainly read the shorter. Grimly informative as to how these things are done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best but worth a read 30 Aug. 2014
By Ken
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Clear and concise account of the events leading up to the dropping of the bomb. Although it only skims through the actual details it gives a flavor of the choices made.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hiroshima & Nagasaki; the why and the how 1 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's easy to assume that Hiroshima and Nagasaki chose themselves as targets for the first atom bombs and that the decision to use these powerful new weapons to end WWII was a foregone conclusion. Paul Ham's excellent, easy-to-read little book (it is very short on detail) provides a glimpse of the arguments and agonies behind the decisions and the choice.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the full story. 19 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very informative short book up to a point, but i felt a bit cheated when i got to the end of the book, and there was no conclusion, just a statement saying that if you want more information, you should buy the author's main book on the subject. Look elsewhere if you want a definitive book on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Packed full of information and works perfectly as a draw for Paul Ham's other work, but far too expensive for such a short.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
short and pithy with some interesting insights into the run up to the atom bomb drops
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