Join us on Tuesday, November 1st at 6pm for a reading and discussion with James M. Scott, author of Black Snow: Curtis LeMay, the Firebombing of Tokyo, and the Road to the Atomic Bomb. The book recounts the devastating March 10, 1945 operation in which nearly 300 American B-29s thundered into the skies over Tokyo and ignited a firestorm that flattened sixteen square miles of the city and killed more than 100,000 men, women, and children. Scott, a former Harvard Nieman Fellow, won the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History from the New York Historical Society for his 2018 book Rampage. His book Target Tokyo was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2016. Don't miss your chance to meet the author! Meet us at the Bookshop on November 1st.
This event is free and open to all; RSVP at the link below to let us know you're coming!
Seven minutes past midnight on March 10, 1945, nearly 300 American B-29s thundered into the skies over Tokyo. Their payloads of incendiaries ignited a firestorm that reached up to 2,800 degrees, liquefying asphalt and vaporizing thousands; sixteen square miles of the city were flattened and more than 100,000 men, women, and children were killed.
Black Snow is the story of this devastating operation, orchestrated by Major General Curtis LeMay, who famously remarked: “If we lose the war, we’ll be tried as war criminals.” James M. Scott reconstructs in granular detail that horrific night, and describes the development of the B-29, the capture of the Marianas for use as airfields, and the change in strategy from high-altitude daylight “precision” bombing to low-altitude nighttime incendiary bombing. Most importantly, the raid represented a significant moral shift for America, marking the first time commanders deliberately targeted civilians which helped pave the way for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki five months later.
Drawing on first-person interviews with American pilots and bombardiers and Japanese survivors, air force archives, and oral histories never before published in English, Scott delivers a harrowing and gripping account, and his most important and compelling work to date.
A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, James M. Scott is the author of Rampage, which was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by the editors at Amazon, Kirkus, and Military Times and was chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History by the New York Historical Society. His other works include Target Tokyo, a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist, The War Below, and The Attack on the Liberty, which won the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award. Scott lives with his wife and two children in Mt. Pleasant, SC.