The debate over the atomic bombings—a controversy that forced the Smithsonian Institution to abandon its Enola Gay exhibit 25 years ago—continues unabated in America today as we approach the 75th anniversary of the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  

Four historians, Gar Alperovitz, Martin Sherwin, Kai Bird, and Peter Kuznick, each of whom has written extensively on the topic, will discuss the documentary evidence and assess the current state of knowledge about the bombings in a webinar open to people from around the world.

Internationally acclaimed poet Carolyn Forché will moderate. The webinar will critically explore in depth the “official” explanation that use of the atomic bombs was the only way to force the fanatically resistant Japanese to surrender without an Allied invasion that would have cost hundreds of thousands of U.S. and British and an even greater number of Japanese lives. Attendance is free and open to the general public. A question and answer period will follow the presentations.     

Date: July 25, 2020 Time: 1pm EST

For more information, contact Peter Kuznick or Glenn Marcus    

Speakers include:

Gar Alperovitz, formerly a Fellow of Kings College Cambridge, the Institute of Politics at Harvard

Lionel Bauman, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, is the author of Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. He is currently a Principal of The Democracy Collaborative, an independent research institution in Washington, D.C.  

Martin Sherwin, University Professor of History, George Mason University, is author of A World DestroyedHiroshima and Its Legacies winner of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relation’s Bernath Book Prize, co-author with Kai Bird of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography, and Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis, forthcoming in September 2020.   

Kai Bird, Executive Director, CUNY Graduate Center’s Leon Levy Center for Biography, co-author (with Martin Sherwin) Pulitzer Prize-winning American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, co-editor (with Lawrence Lifschultz) Hiroshima’s Shadow, and author The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment.   

Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, Director, Nuclear Studies Institute, American University, co-author (with Akira Kimura), Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives, co-author (with Oliver Stone) of the New York Times best-selling The Untold History of the United States (books and documentary film series), and author “The Decision to Risk the Future: Harry Truman, the Atomic Bomb and the Apocalyptic Narrative.”  

Carolyn Forché’s first book of poetry, Gathering the Tribes, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, and was followed by The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour. In March, 2020, Penguin Press published her fifth collection of poems, In the Lateness of the World. She is also the author of the memoir What You Have Heard Is True (Penguin Press, 2019), a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Juan E. Mendez Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America. Her international anthology, Against Forgetting, has been praised by Nelson Mandela as “itself a blow against tyranny, against prejudice, against injustice.” In 1998 in Stockholm, she received the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award for her human rights advocacy and the preservation of memory and culture. She is one of the first poets to receive the Wyndham Campbell Prize from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, and is a University Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  

Webinar sponsors include:  

American Friends Service Committee’s Peace & Economic Security Program

American University Nuclear Studies Institute

Article 9 Canada

Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Committee of the Greater DC Area

Historians for Peace and Democracy

Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown 

Los Alamos Study Group

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Peace Action

Peace Culture Village 

Peace Philosophy Centre (Vancouver, Canada)

PEAC Institute 

Proposition One Campaign for a Nuclear Free Future

United for Peace and Justice

Western States Legal Foundation

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) USA

World Beyond War Youth Arts New York/Hibakusha Stories

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