Joe R. Sexton Lecture Series: James M. Scott, Author of Black Snow

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Program Description

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As part of the Joe R. Sexton Lecture Series, author James M. Scott will discuss his latest book, Black Snow: Curtis LeMay, the Firebombing of Tokyo, and the Road to the Atomic Bomb, where he reconstructs the horrific air attack on Tokyo on the night of March 10, 1945. Here he also describes the development of the B-29, the capture of the Marianas for use as airfields, and the change in strategy from high-altitude precision bombing to low-altitude nighttime incendiary bombing. The raid represented a significant moral shift for America, marking the first time commanders deliberately targeted civilians, which paved the way for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 5 months later.

Drawing on first-person interviews with American pilots and bombardiers and Japanese survivors as well as archives and oral histories never before published in English, Scott delivers a harrowing and gripping account of this terrifying event.

Reception at 6 p.m.; program follows at 6:30 p.m.

Book sale and signing by Elm Street Books.

Registration required.

A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, James M. Scott is also the author of Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila, 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 Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History by the New York Historical Society.

His other works include Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor, a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist; The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines that Battled Japan; and The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel's Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship, which won the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award.

The Joe R. Sexton Lecture Series is presented in memory of Joseph (Joe) R. Sexton and was created to perpetuate his spirit, interests, and his adventurous outlook on life.

Generously supported by Mel Klugman and the Friends of the Ferguson Library.