News Release

The Decisions to Bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki


Several leading scholars are available for interviews on the decisions to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago (on Aug. 6 and 9).

Barbara Cochran, former news executive at NPR, NBC, and CBS and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri recently moderated a discussion with the analysts and historians, available online.

They will also be featured in a media briefing on Wednesday, July 29 at 9 a.m. (Tokyo time), July 28 at 8 p.m. (New York time) — click here.

Gar Alperovitz, formerly a Fellow of Kings College Cambridge, the Institute of Politics at Harvard, and Lionel Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, is the author of Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. He is currently a Principal of The Democracy Collaborative, an independent research institution in Washington, D.C.

Martin Sherwin, University Professor of History, George Mason University, is author of A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies, winner of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relation’s Bernath Book Prize, co-author with Kai Bird of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography, and author of Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis, forthcoming in September 2020.

Kai Bird, Executive Director, CUNY Graduate Center’s Leon Levy Center for Biography, co-author (with Martin Sherwin) of Pulitzer Prize-winning American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, co-editor (with Lawrence Lifschultz) Hiroshima’s Shadow, and author The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment.

Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, Director, Nuclear Studies Institute, American University, co-author (with Akira Kimura), Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives, co-author (with Oliver Stone) of the New York Times best-selling The Untold History of the United States (books and documentary film series), and author “The Decision to Risk the Future: Harry Truman, the Atomic Bomb and the Apocalyptic Narrative.”

The historians are also available for individual interviews:
Gar Alperovitz, garalper at
Kai Bird, kaibird at
Martin Sherwin, martysherwin at
Peter Kuznick, pkuznick at

For more information, contact Glenn Marcus, dcguy614 at

Also, the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee is organizing a number of talks and vigils in the Washington, D.C. area — see schedule.

Note to producers: You may want to use the song “Enola Gay” by OMD as a musical lead-in; this version by Elisa Salasin includes audio clips of President Harry Truman claiming that Hiroshima was “a military base” and J. Robert Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad Gita: “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” See video.