Peter J. Kuznick is a professor of history and the director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University. The author of Beyond the Laboratory: Scientists As Political Activists in 1930s America (1987); a coeditor, with James Gilbert, of Rethinking Cold War Culture (2001); and a coauthor, with Akira Kimura, of Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (published in Japanese in 2010), with Yuki Tanaka, of Nuclear Power and Hiroshima: The Truth behind the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Power (published in Japanese in 2011), with Oliver Stone and Satoko Norimatsu, “What is War? What is War Really Like?”: The Collected 2013 Japan Interviews, Talks, and Articles by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, he studies nuclear issues, past and present, and is writing a book about scientists and the Vietnam War. He helped found the Committee for a National Discussion of Nuclear History and Current Policy in 2003, in response to the Smithsonian Enola Gay exhibit, and the Nuclear Education Project. He is coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States (2012), a 12-part documentary film series and companion book (revised and updated 2019) on the history of the American empire and national security state. He has also written a screenplay on the early Cold War titled "Lost Cause." His most recent book, co-authored with former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Akira Kimura, and Oliver Stone, is The Untold Postwar History of the U.S. and Japan (2020 in Japanese).
This lecture argues that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were militarily unnecessary and morally reprehensible. In authorizing the use of the atomic bombs against Japan, Harry Truman knowingly and recklessly put humanity on a glide path to annihilation.