Reviews and Interviews


  • Interview with Denny Smithson, Cover to Cover (KPFA), July 14, 2008 (listen)

  • Interview with Jeffrey Callison, Capitol Public Radio (KXJX), June 2, 2008 (listen)

Book Reviews:

  • Lawrence D. Freedman, Foreign Affairs, November/December 2008 (link).

  • Ian Neary, The Times Literary Supplement, October 17, 2008.

  • Campbell Craig, H-Diplo, September 2008 ((link).

  • Dyon Stefanon, America in World War II, June 2008, 61-62 (pdf).

  • Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Library Journal, April 15, 2008 (link).

From the Back Cover:

"For decades, Henry L. Stimson's seminal role in the dawn of the nuclear age-he was centrally involved in the decisions to build and use the atomic bomb during World War II, in the early efforts to control the weapon afterwards, and in influencing historical controversies over Hiroshima-has cried out for a serious study. With Atomic Tragedy, Sean L. Malloy has done more than fill this glaring gap in this literature: He has drawn a compelling, expertly researched, incisive critical yet balanced portrait of FDR's secretary of war that both seizes a spot on the top shelf of essential works on nuclear history and transcends prior biographical treatments to deepen our understanding of one of the most important figures in twentieth-century American history."

     -- James G. Hershberg, George Washington University, author of James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age

"Sean L. Malloy has written a superb book describing how Henry L. Stimson played a crucial role in the use of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which Stimson himself considered 'tragic,' against his own standards of war, morality, and international relations. By dissecting Stimson's role in more detail than any previous studies, Malloy also adds a new dimension to the debate on the use of the atomic bomb at the end of the Pacific War."

     -- Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, University of California at Santa Barbara, author of Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan

"Henry L. Stimson stood at the center of the maelstrom of world conflict at the middle of a century of unprecedented military destruction. Sean L. Malloy's Atomic Tragedy details how this principled Secretary of War, drawing on Victorian codes of conduct, approached his pivotal role in the decisions and consequences of the development and use of nuclear weapons, those harbingers of his (and our) technological future. Malloy's book not only makes compelling reading but also offers a vital reflection on the ways in which the world Stimson helped make is still very much with us."

     -- Michael D. Gordin, Princeton University, author of Five Days in August: How World War II Became a Nuclear War

"Atomic Tragedy is an incisive analysis replete with sparkling details and shocking, newly discovered photographs of the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Sean L. Malloy takes the pioneering work of Barton Bernstein and Gar Alperovitz to the next level in a nuanced history that concisely summarizes and ultimately transcends the existing scholarship."

     -- Elizabeth Borgwardt, author of A New Deal for the World: America's Vision for Human Rights

"It is necessary to have this book now, just as we embark on yet another spasm of atomic expansion. Atomic Tragedy is a book to be reckoned with; it tells the reader about all the conflicting pressures on Henry L. Stimson and fits him in perfectly to his times and to ours. No one can come away from this book without a deep appreciation of the real meaning of Stimson's all-too-human struggles."

     -- Lloyd C. Gardner, Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History, Rutgers University

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