Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

Chris Wallace, with Mitch Weiss. Avid Reader, $30 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982143-34-3
Fox News Sunday host Wallace debuts with a propulsive account of the final months of WWII leading up to atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Drawing on eyewitness accounts from Allied leaders, U.S. bomber pilots, and atomic scientists, Wallace opens with FDR’s death in April 1945 and the swearing-in of President Truman, who immediately learns that the government has been developing “the most terrible weapon ever known in human history.” Among those briefed about the plans, there was “a long, deeply felt debate” about the morality and efficacy of atomic weapons, Wallace writes. Separately, military leaders were planning to invade the Japanese home islands of Kyushu and Honshu in what would have been “the biggest military operation in U.S. history.” Days after the bombing of Hiroshima, the Soviets invaded Japanese-occupied Manchuria, threatening to permanently alter the map of Asia. Defiant silence from Japanese leaders led to the bombing of Nagasaki, a mission that “almost failed before it began.” Wallace, with help from journalist Weiss, writes with verve and an eye for cinematic detail, though much of the story is well-known. Still, this accessible, evenhanded account serves as an entertaining introduction to one of the most momentous decisions in world history. (June)
Reviewed on : 05/07/2020
Release date: 06/09/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-0545-1
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-8038-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-0544-4
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