Historians riled by book award on the A-bombing decision

Thomas Lifson
We have been covering the continuing fight among historians over President Truman's decision to use atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II. One of the most important awards for historians, the Ferrell Prize, was given to Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's book Racing the Enemy:  Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Harvard University Press, 2005).  Robert James Maddox covered the controversy for us in April, and Dennis Giangreco updated us three weeks later.

Most embarrassing for Hasegawa and the prize jury, the historian after whom the Ferrell Prize is named, Robert H. Ferrell, wrote a devastating critique of Hasegawa's book:

'Hasegawa is not only highly selective, he distorts and misrepresents consistently' throughout the work which puts 'all the participants in the Pacific War on the same moral plane.' 

For the third straight week, the History News Network, a site where historians talk with each other, reports that the most popular article on its site is Ferrell's critique of Hasegawa.

The world once again faces the real possibility of nuclear arms being used. Not just academics, but all of us need to face the issues with honesty and clarity. History is often political in impact, and never more so than when discussing war and peace.

Hat tip: Dennis Giangreco
We have been covering the continuing fight among historians over President Truman's decision to use atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II. One of the most important awards for historians, the Ferrell Prize, was given to Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's book Racing the Enemy:  Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Harvard University Press, 2005).  Robert James Maddox covered the controversy for us in April, and Dennis Giangreco updated us three weeks later.

Most embarrassing for Hasegawa and the prize jury, the historian after whom the Ferrell Prize is named, Robert H. Ferrell, wrote a devastating critique of Hasegawa's book:

'Hasegawa is not only highly selective, he distorts and misrepresents consistently' throughout the work which puts 'all the participants in the Pacific War on the same moral plane.' 

For the third straight week, the History News Network, a site where historians talk with each other, reports that the most popular article on its site is Ferrell's critique of Hasegawa.

The world once again faces the real possibility of nuclear arms being used. Not just academics, but all of us need to face the issues with honesty and clarity. History is often political in impact, and never more so than when discussing war and peace.

Hat tip: Dennis Giangreco