As an active WWII bombardier returning from the end of the war in Europe and preparing for combat in Japan, Howard Zinn read the headline "Atomic Bomb Dropped on Japan" and was glad—the war would be over. "Like other Americans," writes Zinn, "I had no idea what was going on at the higher levels, and had no idea what that 'atomic bomb' had done to men, women, children in Hiroshima, any more than I ever really understood what the bombs I dropped on European cities were doing to human flesh and blood." During the war, Zinn had taken part in the aerial bombing of Royan, France, and in 1966, he went to Hiroshima, where he was invited to a "house of rest" where survivors of the bombing gathered. In this short and powerful book, the backstory of the making and use of the bomb, Zinn offers his deep personal reflections and political analysis of these events, and the profound influence they had in transforming him from an order-taking combat soldier to one of our greatest anti-authoritarian, anti-war historians.
Simultaneous publication this August in the U.S. and Japan commemorates the 65th anniversary of the USA's two atomic bombings of Japan by calling for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and an end to war as an acceptable solution to human conflict.
Praise for The Bomb:
"It's my favorite. . . . He wrote the book to remind himself and to remind us that anybody can throw the wrench in the machinery, and we often should." -- Bill Moyers
"Part history, part memoir, part sermon, The Bomb is meant to wake up citizens, to rouse them to reject 'the abstractions of duty and obedience' and to refuse to heed the call of war."
—Jonah Raskin, The Rag Blog
In his liftetime, Howard Zinn (1922-2010) received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award, and the Lannan Literary Award. He is perhaps best known for A People's History of the United States. City Lights previously published his essay collection A Power Governments Cannot Suppress. We feel lucky and proud to have known and worked with him, and are honored to bring The Historic Unfulfilled Promise to a wide readership.