Choices under Fire Moral Dimensions of World War II

ISBN-10: 0307275809
ISBN-13: 9780307275806
Edition: N/A
Authors: Michael Bess
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Description: World War II was the quintessential “good war.” It was not, however, a conflict free of moral ambiguity, painful dilemmas, and unavoidable compromises. Was the bombing of civilian populations in Germany and Japan justified? Were the Nuremberg and  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 3/11/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

World War II was the quintessential “good war.” It was not, however, a conflict free of moral ambiguity, painful dilemmas, and unavoidable compromises. Was the bombing of civilian populations in Germany and Japan justified? Were the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials legally scrupulous? What is the legacy bequeathed to the world by Hiroshima? With wisdom and clarity, Michael Bess brings a fresh eye to these difficult questions and others, arguing eloquently against the binaries of honor and dishonor, pride and shame, and points instead toward a nuanced reckoning with one of the most pivotal conflicts in human history.

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Evaluating the Second World War: Celebration, Doubt, and Complexity
Fomenting War
A Wide World of Racisms
Causes of the Pacific War: A Longer View on Pearl Harbor
Causes of the War in Europe: The Paradoxical Legacy of Munich
Making War
Bystanders: How Much Is Not Enough?
Bombing Civilian Populations: A Case of Moral Slippage
Deep Evil and Deep Good: The Concept of Human Nature Confronts the Holocaust
Decisions at Midway, 1942: Moral Character As a Factor in Battle
Tyranny Triumphant: The Moral Awkwardness of the Alliance with Stalin
Kamikaze: Wartime Suicide Attacks in Anthropological Perspective
The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb: Twelve Questions
Long-Term Consequences of the War
Justice for the Unspeakable? The Enduring Legacy of the War Crimes Trials at Nuremberg and Tokyo
Generations Under a Shadow: The Challenge of Peace Since Hiroshima
The Politics of Memory: Remembering and Unremembering Wartime
Conclusion: What Would Be the Opposite of Hitler's World?
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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