The end of World War II, marked by the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ushered in a new era of mass destruction as human warfare would be overshadowed by the prospects of nuclear barbarism. Although world opinion in general viewed the Bomb as an instrument of barbarism, for US leaders it would be embraced as a benevolent source of perpetual global hegemony and a guarantee of superpower domination. For the US, atomic politics would shape its larger postwar trajectory quest for superpower domination, development of a global military presence, formation of an elite scientific-defense stratum, even source of national identity. Beyond the culture of militarism as such, the postwar years witnessed the growth of a uniquely American form of nuclearism, a belief in total war that came out of the Manhattan Project. From the start of the Manhattan Project, American nuclear ambitions took on the character of apocalyptic violence combined with Godlike power, the most awesome expression of modernity.