Summary Of Leo Szilard's Last Resort

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Szilard’s Last Resort Imagine being the ultimate decision maker responsible for deciding if the world’s deadliest weapon should be used on your enemy’s cities. In 1945, this was the position Harry S. Truman was in, but fortunately, he did have advisers who were willing to voice their opinions. Leo Szilard’s petition to the president claims that the atomic bomb should not be used on Japan based on the current stage of the war. However, if Japan was offered the opportunity to surrender and refused, then the decision to use the bomb should be reassessed (Szilard, “A Petition”). “A Petition to the President of the United States” by Leo Szilard provides a strong claim against the use of the atomic bomb supported by establishing credibility, …show more content…

Since Szilard and the additional signers of this petition were experienced scientists working in the field of nuclear science for years, this established that they were knowledgeable about atomic bombs and therefore credible sources on this matter (“A Petition”). This is noted in the second paragraph of the petition and established the author and signers’ credibility from the start. Also, Szilard provides a reservation to his claim, which demonstrates that he has considered all aspects of the issues. This reservation was that if Japan was unwilling to surrender, then the United States should reconsider the using the atomic bomb to end the war (Szilard, “A …show more content…

The opening remark states there is information “the people of the United States are not aware may affect the welfare of this nation in the near future” (Szilard, “A Petition”). This statement immediately captures the reader’s interest and creates concern. After the logical appeal, the petition plays on the reader’s emotion by discussing the path of ruthlessness that the world would travel down if the atomic bomb was used (Szilard, “A Petition”). The author continues to paint a picture of a world with such destructive powers available that the devastation would be unimaginable, and if the United States deployed the first atomic bomb, then it would be responsible for the opening Pandora’s box and all that followed (Szilard, “A

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