Kresta in the Afternoon – August 7, 2020 – Hour 1

+  "I did everything I was supposed to do to stop this"

+  Was the Atom Bomb Morally Justified? (2 segments)

  • Description: It’s been 75 years since atomic bombs annihilated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Truman’s decision to use such a devastating weapon is one of the most controversial wartime actions of modern history. Was it justified? Can we compare the loss of life from the bombs to a potential loss of life from a land invasion of Japan? What of the relationship between atomic weapons and the Cold War? Fr Bill Miscamble joins us
  • Segment Guests:
    • Fr. Bill Miscamble
      Fr Bill Miscamble is a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross and a professor in the history department at Notre Dame. He's the author most recently of American Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame's Father Ted Hesburgh as well as The Most Controversial Decision: Truman, the Atomic Bombs and the Defeat of Japan.
  • + Articles Mentioned:

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    • The Most Controversial Decision: Truman, the Atomic Bombs, and the Defeat of Japan

      This book explores the American use of atomic bombs, and the role these weapons played in the defeat of the Japanese Empire in World War II. It focuses on President Harry S. Truman's decision making regarding this most controversial of all his decisions. The book relies on notable archival research, and the best and most recent scholarship on the subject to fashion an incisive overview that is fair and forceful in its judgments. This study addresses a subject that has been much debated among historians, and it confronts head-on the highly disputed claim that the Truman administration practiced "atomic diplomacy." The book goes beyond its central historical analysis to ask whether it was morally right for the United States to use these terrible weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It also provides a balanced evaluation of the relationship between atomic weapons and the origins of the Cold War. (learn more)

    • American Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame’s Father Ted Hesburgh

      A provocative new biography probes deeply into the storied life of Father Ted Hesburgh, the well-loved but often controversial president of Notre Dame University.   Considered for many decades to be the most influential priest in America, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, played what many consider pivotal roles in higher education, the Catholic Church, and national and international affairs. American Priest examines his life and his many and varied engagements—from the university he led for thirty-five years to his associations with the Vatican and the White House—and evaluates the extent and importance of his legacy. Author and Notre Dame priest-professor Wilson D. Miscamble tracks how Hesburgh transformed Catholic higher education in the postwar era and explores how he became a much-celebrated voice in America at large. Yet, beyond the hagiography that often surrounds Hesburgh’s legacy lies another more complex and challenging story. What exactly were his contributions to higher learning; what was his involvement in the civil rights movement; and what was the nature of his role as advisor to popes and presidents? Understanding Hesburgh’s life and work illuminates the journey that the Catholic Church traversed over the second half of the twentieth century. Exploring and evaluating Hesburgh’s importance, then, contributes not only to the colorful history of Notre Dame but also to comprehending the American Catholic experience. (learn more)

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