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February 19, 2013

Filmmaker Oliver Stone joins Stanford historian to debate the bombing of Hiroshima

Stanford plays host to filmmaker Oliver Stone for a screening of his documentary on the U.S. decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. A panel discussion will follow.

Nearly 68 years later, America's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan to end World War II is still debated. History classes from high school through college examine the politics and military strategy of using the ultimate weapon.

Most standard interpretations argue that the bomb was necessary to end the war. But in a new documentary, filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick contend it wasn't, and lay out their reasons using recently unclassified documents and archival findings.

The pair is coming to Stanford on Friday, Feb. 22, to show "The Bomb" and be part of a panel discussion moderated by Barton Bernstein, a Stanford professor emeritus of history.

The event, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Lane History Corner, Room 02, will also feature Daniel Ellsberg, the former U.S. military analyst who gave the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971. The documents, a top-secret study by the Pentagon, told of the decision-making surrounding U.S. strategy in Vietnam.

"The Bomb" is episode three of Stone's 10-part series, The Untold History of the United States, on Showtime. It's based on the book of the same name by Stone and Kuznick.

Bernstein, an atomic bomb historian, plans to give a follow-up lecture at 6 p.m. Friday, March 1, also in the Lane History Corner, Room 205.

Both events are free and open to the public. Members of the media should RSVP to the Stanford News Service.



Barton Bernstein, History: (650) 325-4974

Brooke Donald, Stanford News Service: (650) 725-0224,


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