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HIST1055
Christoph Laucht

Historiography and Historical Skills, 2013/14, Semester 1
Dr Catherine Coombs
c.e.b.coombs@leeds.ac.uk
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue
On this page:

PART ONE

Set Reading and Study Guides

You must buy a copy of the set text for this class.

J. Samuel Walker, Prompt and utter destruction : Truman and the use of atomic bombs against Japan , revised edition (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).

Some suggestions for additional reading are provided at the end of this handbook, and others will be made available by your tutor as the course progresses. If you require further guidance about skills required by history undergraduates, various study guides are available at the Union Bookshop, including:

Mary Abbott, ed., History Skills, A Student's Handbook , 2nd edition (London: Routledge, 2008)

Jeremy Black and Donal MacRaild, Studying History , 2nd edition (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000). 

Jenny Presnell’s The information-literate historian : a guide to research for history students (Oxford: OUP, 2006) may prove useful.

PART 2

J. Samuel Walker, Prompt and utter destruction : Truman and the use of atomic bombs against Japan , revised edition (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).

Reading List

In week 4, after the bibliographic exercise has been completed, reading lists for seminars and the assessed assignments will be made available in the VLE, but in the meantime the following general works can be consulted for background on the people, period and issues studied in Prompt and Utter Destruction.

Gar Alperovitz, Atomic Diplomacy : Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power , revised edition (London: Pluto Press, 1994)

Gar Alperovitz, The decision to use the atomic bomb and the architecture of an American myth (London: HarperCollins, 1995)

Paul S. Boyer, By the bomb's early light : American thought and culture at the dawn of the atomic age (1985; repr. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994)

Paul S. Boyer, Fallout : a historian reflects on America's half-century encounter with nuclear weapons (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1998)

Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005)

John Hersey, Hiroshima (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1946)

Michael J. Hogan, ed., Hiroshima in history and memory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)

Robert Jay Lifton, Hiroshima in America : fifty years of denial (New York: Putnam, 1995)

Robert James Maddox, Weapons for victory : the Hiroshima decision : (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004)

Martin J. Sherwin, A world destroyed : Hiroshima and its legacies , 3rd edition (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003)

Allan M. Winkler, Life under a cloud : American anxiety about the atom (1993; repr. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999)


Extended Reading List – Seminars and Essays

Reviews

Gar Alperovitz, „Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan‟, The Journal of American history. , 85. 3 (1998), 1143-144.

Roger E. Chapman, „Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan‟, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences, 1999, [online] http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php? id=3577

Conrad C. Crane, „Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan‟, The historian. , 61. 3 (1999), 692-93.

Alonzo L. Hamby, „Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan‟, Pacific Historical Review , 68. 1 (1999), 129-31.

Martin Harwitt, „Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan‟, Isis. , 89. 1 (1998), 156-57.

Andrew J. Rotter, „Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan‟, Technology and culture. , 40. 4 (1999), 912-13.

Seminars

Seminar 5: Prospects for victory: How does Walker assess the prospects for victory in June 1945 and how does his line of argumentation relate to the book’s overall argument?

Herbert P. Bix, „Japan‟s Delayed Surrender: A Reinterpretation‟, in Hiroshima in history and memory , ed. by Michael J. Hogan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 80-115.

Robert H. Ferrell, Harry S. Truman : a life (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1994).

D.M. Giangreco, „“A Score of Bloody Okinawas and Iwo Jimas”: President Truman and Casualty Eestimates for the Invasion of Japan‟, Pacific Historical Review , 72. 1 (2003), 93-132.

Robert Jay Lifton, Hiroshima in America : fifty years of denial (New York: Putnam, 1995).

Robert James Maddox, Weapons for victory : the Hiroshima decision (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004).

Ronald Takaki, Hiroshima : why America dropped the atomic bomb (Boston: Little, Brown, 1996).

Seminar 6: Paths to victory: What alternatives to the atom bomb were there and how were they debated amongst military and political decision makers?


Thomas Allen and Norman Polmar, Code-name downfall : the secret plan to invade Japan and why Truman dropped the bomb (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995).

Gar Alperovitz, Robert L. Messer and Barton J. Bernstein, „Marshall, Truman and the Decision to Drop the Bomb‟, International security. , 16. 3 (1991-92), 204-21.

Sadao Asada, „The Shock of the Atomic Bomb and Japan‟s Decision to Surrender‟, Pacific Historical Review , 67. 4 (1998), 477-512.

Barton J. Bernstein, „Reconsidering Truman‟s Claim of “Half a Million American Lives” Saved by the Atomic Bomb: The Construction and Deconstruction of a Myth‟, The journal of strategic studies. , 22. 1 (1999), 54-95.

Barton J. Bernstein, „Understanding the Atomic Bomb and the Japanese Surrender: Missed Opportunities, Little-Known Near Disasters, and Modern History‟, Diplomatic history. , 19. 2 (1995), 227-73.

D.M. Giangreco, „Casualty Projections of the U.S. Invasions of Japan, 1945-1946: Planning and Policy Implications‟, The journal of military history. , 61. 3 (1997), 521-82.

Robert P. Newman, „Hiroshima and the Trashing of Henry Stimson‟, The New England quarterly. , 71. 1 (1998), 5-32.

Seminar 7: Potsdam: How significant was the impact of the atom bomb on the Potsdam Conference and US-Soviet relations?


Gar Alperovitz, Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power , rev. edn (London: Pluto Press, 1994).
[See also the review: Robert Maddox, „Atomic Diplomacy: A Study in Creative Writing‟, The Journal of American history. , 59. 4 (1973), 925-34.]

Barton J. Bernstein, „Truman and the A-Bomb: Targeting Non-Combatants, Using the Bomb, and Defending the “Decision”,‟ The journal of military history. , 62. 3 (1998), 547-70.

Campbell Craig and Sergey Radchenko, The atomic bomb and the origins of the Cold War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008).

Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005), especially chs 4 and 5.

David Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb : the Soviet Union and atomic energy, 1939-1956 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), especially pp. 116-33.

Seminar 8: Hiroshima and Nagasaki: What was immediate impact of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?


Paul S. Boyer, By the bomb's early light [electronic resource] : American thought and culture at the dawn of the atomic age , rev. edn (1985; repr. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994), pp. 1-26.

Paul S. Boyer, Fallout : a historian reflects on America's half-century encounter with nuclear weapons (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1998), pp. 5-16.

Monica Braw, The atomic bomb suppressed : American censorship in occupied Japan (Armonk, NY: Sharpe, 1991).

Kyoko Hirano, „Depiction of the Atomic Bombings in Japanese Cinema During the U.S. Occupation Period‟, in Hibakusha cinema : Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the nuclear image in Japanese film , ed. by Mick Broderick (London: Kegan Paul
International, 1996), pp. 103-119.

Peter N. Kirstein, „Hiroshima and Spinning the Atom: America, Britain, and Canada Proclaim the Nuclear Age, 6 August 1945‟, The historian. , 71. 4 (2009), 805-27.

Spencer R. Weart, Nuclear fear : a history of images (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988), pp. 103-27.

Scott C. Zeman, „“Taking Hell‟s Measurements”: Popular Science and Popular Mechanics Magazines and the Atomic Bomb from Hiroshima to Bikini‟, Journal of popular culture. . , 41. 4 (2008), 695-74.

Seminar 9: The legacies of Hiroshima: What are the legacies of Hiroshima in twentieth-century history?


R.J.B. Bosworth, Explaining Auschwitz and Hiroshima : history writing and the Second World War, 1945-1990 , 1945-1990 (London: Routledge, 1993).

Paul Boyer, „Exotic Resonances: Hiroshima in American Memory‟, in Hiroshima in history and memory , ed. by Michael J. Hogan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 143-67. [NB This chapter is also reprinted in Paul S.

Boyer, Fallout : a historian reflects on America's half-century encounter with nuclear weapons (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1998), pp. 226-45.]

Paul S. Boyer, Fallout : a historian reflects on America's half-century encounter with nuclear weapons (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1998), pp. 246-68.

Ian Buruma, The wages of guilt : memories of war in Germany and Japan (London: Phoenix, 2002)

Robert Jacobs, „Social Fallout: Marginalization after the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown‟, The Asia-Pacific Journal, 9. 28. 4 (2011), available at: http://japanfocus.org/-Robert-Jacobs/3562

Richard H. Kohn, „History and the Culture Wars: The Case of the Smithsonian Institution‟s Enola Gay Exhibition‟, The Journal of American history. , 82. 3 (1995), 1036-63.

Donald Ritchie, „“Mono no aware”: Hiroshima in Film‟, in Hibakusha cinema : Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the nuclear image in Japanese film , ed. by Mick Broderick (London: Kegan Paul International, 1996), pp. 20-37.

Ferenc M. Szasz and Issei Takechi, „Atomic Heroes and Atomic Monsters: American and Japanese Cartoonists Confront the Onset of the Nuclear Age, 1945-80‟, The historian. , 69. 4 (2007), 728-52.

Allan M. Winkler, Life under a cloud : American anxiety about the atom (1993; repr. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999), pp. 34-56.

Top of page

Essays


NB Please also review the general reading list in the module handbook and the extended readings lists for individual seminars (above) for literature that is of relevance to any particular essay question.

1. What does J. Samuel Walker mean when he says that the mythology surrounding President Harry S. Truman is a key reason for persistent misunderstandings about the decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan, and does Walker manage to arrive at a clearer picture?


Barton J. Bernstein, „Truman and the A-Bomb: Targeting Non-Combatants, Using the Bomb, and Defending the “Decision”,‟ The journal of military history. , 62. 3 (1998), 547-70.

Paul S. Boyer, „“Some sort of peace”: President Truman, the American People, and the Atomic Bomb‟, in The Truman presidency , ed. by Michael J. Lacey (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 174-204 [NB This chapter is also reprinted in Paul S. Boyer, Fallout : a historian reflects on America's half-century encounter with nuclear weapons (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1998), pp. 17-40.]

Alonzo Hamby, „An American Democrat: A Reevaluation of the Personality of Harry S. Truman‟, Political science quarterly. . , 106. 1 (1991), 33-55.

Alonzo Hamby, Man of the people : a life of Harry S. Truman (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).

David McCullough, Truman (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992).

Arnold Offner, Another such victory : President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002).

2. How does Walker utilise primary sources and blend them with historiography to explore the wider issues involved in the decision to use the atom bomb and how successful is his approach?


Gar Alperovitz, Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power , rev. edn (London: Pluto Press, 1994).
[See also the review: Robert Maddox, „Atomic Diplomacy: A Study in Creative Writing‟, The Journal of American history. , 59. 4 (1973), 925-34.]

Barton J. Bernstein, „Reconsidering “Invasion Most Costly”: Popular-History Scholarship, Publishing Standards, and the Claim of High U.S. Casualty Estimates to Help Legitimize the Atomic Bombings‟, Peace and change. , 24. 2 (1999), 220-48.

Jacques E.C. Hymans, „Britain and Hiroshima‟, The journal of strategic studies. , 32. 5 (2009), 769-97.

Robert James Maddox, Weapons for victory : the Hiroshima decision (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004).

Robert A. Pape, „Why Japan Surrendered‟, International security. , 18. 2 (1993), 154-201.

J. Samuel Walker, „Recent Literature on Truman‟s Atomic Bomb Decision: A Search for Middle Ground‟, Diplomatic history. , 29. 2 (2005), 311-34.

3. What voice is given to the Japanese side and is this done sufficiently?


John W. Dower, „The Bombed: Hiroshimas and Nagasakis in Japanese Memory‟, in Hiroshima in history and memory , ed. by Michael J. Hogan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 116-142.

John W. Dower, Embracing defeat : Japan in the aftermath of World War II (London: Penguin, 2000).

John Hersey, Hiroshima (London: Penguin, 1946, or later edition)

Robert Jacobs, „Reconstructing the Perpetrator‟s Soul by Reconstructing the Victim‟s Body: The Portrayal of the “Hiroshima Maidens” by the Mainstream Media in the United States‟, Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific,
24 (June 2010), available at: http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue24/jacobs.htm

Nakazawa Keiji, Barefoot Gen : a cartoon story of Hiroshima (London: Penguin, 1989)

Nakazawa Keiji, Hiroshima : the autobiography of Barefoot Gen (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010)

Abé Mark Nornes, „The Body at the Center – The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki‟, in Hibakusha cinema : Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the nuclear image in Japanese film , ed. by Mick Broderick (London: Kegan Paul International, 1996), pp. 120-59.

Donald Ritchie, „“Mono no aware”: Hiroshima in Film‟, in Hibakusha cinema : Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the nuclear image in Japanese film , ed. by Mick Broderick (London: Kegan Paul International, 1996), pp. 20-37.

4. What were the chief myths surrounding Truman’s decision to authorize the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?


Barton J. Bernstein, „Compelling Japan‟s Surrender without the A-Bomb, Soviet Entry, or Invasion: Reconsidering the US Bombing Survey‟s Early-Surrender Conclusions‟, The journal of strategic studies. . , 18. 2 (1995), 101-48.

Barton J. Bernstein, „Reconsidering “Invasion Most Costly”: Popular-History Scholarship, Publishing Standards, and the Claim of High U.S. Casualty Estimates to Help Legitimize the Atomic Bombings‟, Peace and change. , 24. 2 (1999),
220-48.

Kai Bird and Lawrence Lifschultz, eds, Hiroshima's shadow : writings on the denial of history and the Smithsonian controversy (Stoney Creek, CT: Pamphleteer‟s Press, 1998).

Robert H. Ferrell, Harry S. Truman : a life (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1994).

Robert James Maddox, Weapons for victory : the Hiroshima decision (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004).

Robert P. Newman, „Hiroshima and the Trashing of Henry Stimson‟, The New England quarterly. , 71. 1 (1998), 5-32.

J. Samuel Walker, „Recent Literature on Truman‟s Atomic Bomb Decision: A Search for Middle Ground‟, Diplomatic history. , 29. 2 (2005), 311-34.

This list was last updated on 17/10/2012