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Five Days in August:
How World War II Became a Nuclear War
Michael D. Gordin
With a new preface by the author

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]


"Refreshingly nonpolemical, Five Days in August is a must read for those interested in atomic history, the final stages of World War II, and the future of nuclear weapons."--William J. Astore, Proceedings


"Michael Gordin's Five Days in August is a gripping reconsideration of how the atomic bomb figured in the ending of World War II. Gordin recounts how the bomb came to be viewed soon after the unexpectedly swift surrender as a special, revolutionary weapon, and he ruminates upon the implications of that shift for weapons policy in the postwar world. In all, a remarkable, thought-provoking book."--Daniel Kevles, author of The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America

"With stunning details grounded in a myriad of sources, Gordin captures the ethos of the first nuclear war--how it seemed back in the heat of war, before history revised its estimation of the bomb and made the twin bombings of August 1945 into a unique and self-evidently decisive event. No one can fully understand the end of World War II without taking on board Gordin's study."--Peter Galison, author of Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Map

"Bold and provocative. No one has presented these arguments so coherently, so forcefully, and so intelligently with such gripping, dynamic style."--Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, author of Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan

"Powerful. Five Days in August vigorously proposes new ways of thinking about the World War II atomic bombings, their meanings, and their multiple legacies. It is a book that will provoke controversy and, ideally, help encourage new lines of research, argument, and emphasis. It has a deep critical knowledge and a subtle intelligence. The arguments are arresting and important."--Barton Bernstein, Stanford University

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File created: 11/22/2015

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