As an active WWII bombardier returning from the end of the war in Europe and preparing for combat in Japan, Howard Zinn read the headline Atomic Bomb Dropped on Japan and was glad—the war would be over. "Like other Americans," writes Zinn, "I had no idea what was going on at the higher levels, and had no idea what that 'atomic bomb' had done to men, women, children in Hiroshima, any more than I ever really understood what the bombs I dropped on European cities were doing to human flesh and blood."
During the war, Zinn had taken part in the aerial bombing of Royan, France, and in 1966, he went to Hiroshima, where he was invited to a "house of rest" where survivors of the bombing gathered. In this short and powerful book, the backstory of the making and use of the bomb, Zinn offers his deep personal reflections and political analysis of these events, and the profound influence they had in transforming him from an order-taking combat soldier to one of our greatest anti-authoritarian, anti-war historians.
Daniel Ellsberg, a former U.S. military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation, sparked a national controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.
The Pentagon Papers revealed that the government knew early on that the Vietnam War was not likely winnable and would lead to many times more casualties than ever admitted. After failing to persuade a few U.S. Senators to release the papers on the Senate floor, Ellsberg decided to risk prison and leaked the documents to the New York Times. Ellsberg went underground for 16 days before turning himself in. Fortunately, the charges against him were eventually dropped due to gross government misconduct and illegal evidence gathering by the Nixon administration and the notorious White House "Plumbers Unit."
These efforts included breaking into Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office and were undertaken directly by the Nixon White House to smear and discredit Ellsberg in the news media in retaliation for his Pentagon Papers whistleblowing.
"Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg weighs in on the case of U.S. Army P.F.C. Bradley Manning, who is currently accused of leaking over 260,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables to the website WikiLeaks.
"I recognized someone who was in the same spirit as I was forty years ago," says Ellsberg. "He's a hero of mine."