chapter
11 Pages

Introduction

On Hiroshima becoming history
WithN.A.J. Taylor, Robert Jacobs

The nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki increasingly became footnotes to twentieth-century history. Nuclear technologies are produced in short periods of time. The Manhattan Project delivered nuclear weapons to the United States military in less than five years. The end of the Cold War brought a global sigh of relief to those who had fixated on the threats and consequences of the feared global nuclear exchange. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were to be either justifications of why America must maintain nuclear weapons to counter the Soviet Union, or they were warnings of how such a reliance would lead to an ecological, or even global, cataclysm. In 1995 Robert Jay Lifton and Greg Mitchell brought the image of Hiroshima home to the United States, arguing that Hiroshima has never really shown up in the consciousness of the country that attacked it with nuclear weapons.