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UCSB Historian to Give Faculty Research Lecture on the Use of Atomic Bombs and Lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA


Tsuyoshi Hasegawa

Tsuyoshi Hasegawa

Photo Credit: 

Rod Rolle

Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, professor of history at UC Santa Barbara and an internationally recognized authority on Japanese-Russian relations, will give UCSB's 2010 Faculty Research Lecture on Friday, October 29, at 3:30 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building.

Awarded annually, the lectureship is considered the highest honor bestowed by the university faculty on one of its members. Hasegawa is the 55th recipient of the award. His lecture is free and open to the public.

Hasegawa's talk, titled "Lessons of Hiroshima: Past and Present," will explore the use of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. Drawing from his award-winning book, "Racing With the Enemy: Truman, Stalin, and the Surrender of Japan," and from his subsequent research on the ethical issues associated with the use of atomic bombs, the historian will discuss the notions of what he describes as "just war" and "justice in warfare" and how they apply to the war on terror.

Hasegawa challenges the prevailing view that the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the most decisive factors ending the war in the Pacific. He argues that the political and moral issues that confronted decision makers at that time have important contemporary relevance.

An expert in modern Russian/Soviet history and the Cold War, Hasegawa has two main research interests: the Russian Revolution of 1917, and foreign relations between Russia, Japan, and the United States. He is the recipient of dozens of research grants and fellowships, has authored or edited 15 books, and has published more than 250 articles, essays, and book chapters, written in English, Russian, and Japanese. He also has published numerous analyses of Soviet military and nuclear strategies; Perestroika and the role of Gorbachev in that process; and reforms in other Communist enclaves.

In addition to "Racing the Enemy: Truman, Stalin, and the Surrender of Japan," Hasegawa is also the author of "East Asia's Haunted Present: Historical Memories and the Resurgence of Nationalism," which explores the bitter historical memories that have resurfaced in recent years and led to contentious issues between Japan and its neighbors; and the forthcoming "Cold War in East Asia, 1945-1991," which will be published by Wilson Center Press and Stanford University Press in spring 2011.

Hasegawa earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and completed his postdoctoral work at Columbia University. Before joining the faculty at UCSB in 1990, he served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Oswego, and at the Slavic Research Center at Hokkaido University. The center is the only research institute in Japan that specializes in Soviet and East European affairs.

In 1994, he co-founded UCSB's Center for Cold War Studies and served as its director until 2007.