THE NATION: The Bomb & the Man

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The sweep of events in 1945 engulfed a whole era. The modern Dark Ages gave way to a period in which man had another of his historically rare and fragile chances to seek peace and ensue it. The Axis, an insane Atlantis which no Francis Bacon would ever mourn, was shattered and submerged.

The men who had made that era vanished with it. Benito Mussolini, Italy's self-styled Man of Destiny, died ignominiously and was hung by his heels like a slaughtered pig alongside the body of his mistress. Adolf Hitler, Man...