Britain and the USA carried out a massive bombing offensive against the cities of Germany and Japan in the course of the Second World War, which ended with the destruction of Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Was the bombing of civilian targets justified by the necessities of war? Or was it, in fact, a crime against humanity? How should we, the descendants of the Allies who won the victory in that war, reply to the moral challenge of the descendants of those whose cities were targeted? A.C. Grayling looks at the stands people took, both for and against, and crucially asks what the lessons are that we can learn for today about how people should behave in a world of tension and moral confusion, of terrorism and fragile democracies. "Among the Dead Cities" is both a lucid and revealing work of modern history and an investigation of conscience into one of the last remaining controversies of that time.
A.C. Grayling is one of Britain's leading intellectuals. Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a supernumerary fellow of St. Anne's College, Oxford, he is the multi-talented author of the best-selling The Meaning of Things, The Reason of Things and The Mystery of Things. He is a regular contributor to The Times, the Financial Times, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Economist, Literary Review, New Statesman and Prospect, and a frequent and popular contributor to radio and television, including CNN, Newsnight, the Today programme, In Our Time and Start the Week. He was a Man Booker judge in 2003, is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum and an advisor on many committees ranging from Drug Testing at Work to human rights groups.