Gordin, Michael D., and Ikenberry, G. J., (Eds.). The Age of Hiroshima. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020. 431 pages. Softcover, $99.95..

AuthorKnox, Allison G.S.

The twentieth century profoundly changed the world. Between the catastrophes of World Wars I and II, the Nuclear Age, the international bipolar political arena, and the numerous other disasters that plagued the globe, the twentieth century reassigned the world's power dynamics and political landscape. The Age of Hiroshima, edited by Michael D. Gordin and G. John Ikenberry, touches on one of these important twentieth century dynamics. Through the lens of the Nuclear Age, the book looks at how the bombing of Hiroshima as an event--and later a realized threat of nuclear war--became an influential dynamic in the political agenda. Gordin and Ikenberry write, "This meaning of Hiroshima is relatively widespread and uncontroversial: the city stands as a metonym for the destructiveness of nuclear weapons. Yet from the earliest days the meanings of Hiroshima multiplied and dispersed, and it has become almost impossible to grasp all its various significations at one glance. This book is an attempt to do just that." ( p. 1). The Age of Hiroshima offers new perspectives about the Nuclear Age and how it continues to influence international relations.

The Age of Hiroshima is an intriguing collection of essays that look at the international political arena through the lens of the Nuclear Age. The authors explain that the bombing of Hiroshima should be viewed as "both an event and as a phenomenon" (p. 14) and thus a catalyst for how it influenced numerous political agendas throughout the twentieth century and beyond. According to the authors, "Hiroshima, understood as an event, is captured in portraits of the moment itself within the grand flow of history--in the actions of people, in the war and its aftermath, and in the human experiences surrounding the dropping of the bomb," (p. 14). The authors continue to write, "we hope to make sense of its causes and consequences, placing it in the context of unfolding dramas of war and peace, science and technology, empire and liberation and geopolitics and world society," (p. 14). Considering these important facets to understanding the nuclear age, the book is divided into three sections including Part 1: "Decisions and Choices," Part 2: "Movements and Resistances," and Part 3: "Revolutions and

Transformations." The chapters collectively come together to tell the story of Hiroshima through how the decision to drop the bomb emerged, how the Cold War began, how these political tensions impacted other countries in the...

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