By Matthew Jones
By means of emphasising the function of nuclear matters, After Hiroshima presents a brand new historical past of yankee coverage in Asia among the losing of the atomic bombs on Japan and the escalation of the Vietnam struggle. Drawing on quite a lot of documentary facts, Matthew Jones charts the advance of yank nuclear method and the overseas coverage difficulties it raised, because the usa either faced China and tried to win the friendship of an Asia rising from colonial domination. In underlining American perceptions that Asian peoples observed the potential repeat use of nuclear guns as a manifestation of Western attitudes of 'white superiority', he bargains new insights into the hyperlinks among racial sensitivities and the behavior folks coverage, and a clean interpretation of the transition in American process from huge retaliation to versatile reaction within the period spanned by way of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
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Extra resources for After Hiroshima: The United States, Race, and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945-1965
China’s role as an ally in the war with Japan was invaluable to the United States in this context because it undercut Japanese propaganda that the white West could never work with another Asian state on equal terms; at home Americans could also break down the race barrier by treating the 10 per cent of their population who were black as equals. 39 China, she noted in a later speech, would not ‘go on enduring the disadvantages of color prejudice [and] does not want to be dominated by anybody nor does she want to be looked down upon by anybody because her people are Oriental or have yellow skin and black eyes and hair.
51 Over the ﬁnal days before the Japanese surrender, radio broadcasts along these lines were beamed out across the Far East. Those sent into India were reported by the British authorities to have been ﬁlled with ‘an outburst of indignant protest’ over the use of the atomic bomb. ’52 Within India itself, expressions of Western moral reservations over use of the bomb were also picked up and given wide coverage. The day following the formal Japanese surrender, an editorial in the leading Calcutta newspaper Amrita Bazar Patrika was asking, what were the considerations that weighed with the Allies in not using [the bomb] against the Germans?
The atom bomb brought an empty victory to the Allied arms, but it resulted for the time being in destroying the soul of Japan. ’95 The bomb’s ability to bring about the ‘wholesale destruction of men, women and children’, he recounted, was the most ‘diabolical use of science’, while non-violence was ‘the only thing the atom bomb cannot destroy. I did not move a muscle when I ﬁrst heard that the atom bomb had wiped out Hiroshima . . 97 Having travelled around China, on his return to Calcutta in 1924, the Indian poet and proponent of pan-Asian unity, Rabindranath Tagore, spoke of the need for a new and vibrant Asian civilization based on spiritual values to counteract the materialism of the West: I feel that Asia must ﬁnd her own voice.
After Hiroshima: The United States, Race, and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945-1965 by Matthew Jones