My column this week is about Harry Truman, whose decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is the subject of a play developed for Seattle high schoolers. I was invited to the play by Seattle attorney Michael King, who acts the part of Truman; King, who grew up in a Democratic family, is a fan of Truman, though he believes Truman was led to make the wrong decision about the atomic bombs.
I grew up in a Republican family. My father recalled Truman as a weak president who had gotten the country into a war in Korea and then decided not to win it. Dad did not fault Truman for dropping the atomic bombs. The argument was that Japan’s leaders weren’t ready to give up, and that the bombs shocked them into changing their minds.More