The Atlantic

Harry Truman Explains Why He Dropped the Bomb

In 1947, the then-president wrote to the editors regarding his decision to use atomic warfare during World War II.
Source: Bettmann / Getty

In Letters from the Archives, we'll highlight past Atlantic stories and the correspondence they received in order to exhibit what then-readers thought about culture, politics, foreign affairs, and everything in between.


In his December 1946 , “If the Atomic Bomb Had Not Been Used,” Karl T. Compton argued in support of

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