Crossing the Moral Threshold

Why U.S. leaders never questioned the idea of dropping the Bomb

His left hand resting on an inexpensive Gideon Bible, Harry S Truman took the presidential oath of office on April 12, 1945. It was an extra 13 days before he received his first substantial briefing on the U.S. effort to develop an atomic weapon--a process fast approaching its climactic stage after more than three years of colossal expense, toil and urgency. Neither Secretary of War Henry Stimson nor Leslie Groves, overseer of the vast atomic project, was in a particular hurry to get the new President's ear because they knew that all the important choices about the Bomb had already been...

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