What the People Saw: A Vision of Ourselves

The potential significance of Hiroshima was never lost on Americans. Even bathed in the kissing and weeping at the end of the war, people realized that the remarkable Bomb that felled an empire and brought the world to rapt attention was not going to be a gift without a price. In the Aug. 20, 1945, issue of TIME, James Agee looked ahead: "With the controlled splitting of the atom, humanity, already profoundly perplexed and disunified, was brought inescapably into a new age in which all thoughts and things were split--and far from controlled." Agee was anticipating an opposition between people and...

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