October 26, 2022 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. CT
In conversation with John Curatola, PhD
Join us as Museum friend and best-selling author, James Scott, returns to New Orleans to discuss his latest book about the B-29 campaign in the Pacific.
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; 16 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.” 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.
James M. Scott, a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, 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. James has spoken frequently at the Museum and has been a part of its Educational Travel Programs overseas.
To register for the event, click HERE.
To pre-order copies of the book, click HERE.