Choose one document that can be used against the decision to use the atomic bombs and one document in favor of the dropping of the atomic bombs. The documents are found in the link above, which takes you to the Harry Truman Presidential Library and its archives on the Atomic Bombs. All documents used in this assignment should be drawn from that archival source alone. Then, defend your position as either in favor or against the use of the atomic bombs. The key to this assignment, however, is to be non-emotional and remain objective. This is critical and cannot be emphasized enough. Avoid emotional language and let hindsight be your friend rather than your adversary. Do not fall into the trap of presentism, which is, applying the standards of the present day to the events of the past. That is a classic mistake that students, and even some historians, make and being aware of such tendencies will help you avoid them. Link: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/bomb/large/ Sourcing: considering the document’s source and purpose. Can we take the source at face value or was there a motive behind its writing. Consider whether their is an apparent bias present. Contextualization: placing the document in a temporal and spatial context. The historical time period itself should be considered–the textbook will be useful for this. Corroboration: comparing the accounts of multiple sources against one another. This is where you’ll compare/contrast different primary sources against one another to create a narrative of your own making (either for/against the dropping of the atomic bombs). This is the work historians do and, though it can be challenging, it is also the most fun! While one source is required in favor and against, it would be wise to consider and read through several others to select the most appropriate sources as well as reach a mature understanding of historical research and the historian’s work.
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