Christopher Coker

Do The Right Thing

Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq


W W Norton & Co/The New Press 596pp £22 order from our bookshop

John Dower was provoked to write this book by the almost instant decision to christen the ruins of the World Trade Center ‘Ground Zero’, a name originally associated with the atomic attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. In observing how the ruin quickly became an icon of American victimhood, he was struck, as a historian, by how little his own countrymen knew of their own terror bombing of Japanese cities in 1944–5, which had culminated in the two atomic attacks. We remember the atom bomb for the iconic photograph of the mushroom cloud, taken by the Enola Gay’s tail-gunner, George Caron. It soon became the logo of fifty-five companies in New York and even, more bizarrely, the Miss Atomic Bomb Pageant in Las Vegas.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • "Ivor Novello installed a mirrored bedroom in his apartment over the Strand Theatre ... with furniture veneered in… ,
    • Our 'footprints' series has writers talking about place and inspiration. This month it's Donald Rayfield on Dostoev… ,
    • RT : ‘Meticulously documented, full of drama … complex and compelling … this is a tale fluently told, and a thriller as… ,
    • There's still time to enter: win a brace of tickets to see the new West End production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Hu… ,
    • "For Jane Austen, ‘abroad’ was Lyme Regis. What if the author, celebrated on postage stamp and banknote, had ‘seen… ,
    • Here's on @mirandajseymour's 'In Byron's Wake', a twin biography of the 'turbulent lives' of Ada Lo… ,
    • Win a brace of tickets to see the new West End production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. To enter, simply email… ,