The book reveals that the Japanese government was fearful of a Soviet takeover which influenced their surrender to America, more than the dropping of the atomic bombs. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were certainly evil, but how evil? Evil in which way? Conventionally, their evil has been explained away by repeating that the atomic bombings 'ended the war to save lives.' If true, the evil was not truly evil. In this book, Professor Hallett challenges this all too comforting explanation. If lives were saved, then how many were saved, he asks? Did bombs cause the surrender of Japan; or was the Soviet involvement in the Pacific another influence among many that coincided with the end of the war? Reviewing the dramatic events of August, 1945, Hallett concludes that few, if any lives were saved and that the dropping of the atomic bombs was merely coincidental with the ending of the war. Instead, Soviet entry into the Pacific War was the immediate causal factor in the timing of the Japanese surrender. This study concludes that there was a banal evil induced by an ordinary lack of imagination on the part of President Truman and the American officials.
1. Foreword by George Simson; 2. "Of Deaths Put on by Cunning and Forced Cause"; 3. How Many Lives Were Saved?; 4. Did the Bombs Force Japan to Surrender?; 5. How could it Happen? A Subjective Answer; 6. Who Did It?; 7. Truman: Archfiend?; 8. How could it Have Happened? An Objective Answer; 9. A Radically Banal Evil.