Newswise — WHO: American University Professor Peter Kuznick

WHAT: Possible visit by President Barack Obama to Hiroshima, Japan WHEN: April 12 – ongoing

WHERE: In–studio, on campus, via email or via telephone

BACKGROUND: Peter Kuznick is an expert on 20th-century American history and director of AU’s Nuclear Studies Institute. A proponent of nuclear disarmament, Kuznick is a critic of the U.S. decision to use atomic bombs in World War II. With Oliver Stone, Kuznick collaborated on The Untold History of the United States, a 12-part documentary film series and New York Times best-selling book, in which the topic of the bombings is explored. Kuznick has taken students on a study-abroad class to Hiroshima and Nagasaki every summer since 1995. Among the books he has written is one that he co-authored with Japanese scholar Akira Kimura titled Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives. Kuznick is available to discuss the possibility of a historic and symbolic visit by President Barack Obama to Hiroshima, and he can comment on Japanese and American nuclear culture.

Kuznick was quoted in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun: "A visit to Hiroshima would give [Obama] another chance to shine a light on this most important, though largely underestimated, threat to human survival. And it is also significant that it would be Hiroshima (and hopefully Nagasaki too). It is easy to inveigh against the threat of nuclear terrorism as Obama just did at the [Nuclear Security] Summit. But Hiroshima conveys a different message. This was not terrorism, which all right-thinking people condemn. This was the United States using atomic bombs against an already essentially defeated Japan in wartime. This highlights the much more terrifying threat to humankind--the danger of all-out nuclear war between nations. It puts the responsibility on the U.S. and other nuclear weapons states -- not on stateless terrorists."

-AU-American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.