Part four in a series.
The terrible specter of nuclear annihilation was now clear in the American mind, a condition that LIFE acknowledged and addressed. But in the months that followed V-J Day an odd thing happened, as military testing of the new weaponry provided an opportunity for bomb-watchers to indulge their awe without having to confront the frightful context of war. In the estimation of President Truman, America was not only the most powerful nation on the planet, it was likely the most powerful nation in history (8/20/45, 32). If the bomb did possess apocalyptic potential, at least it could now be addressed within the relative calm that attends triumph, peace, and unchallenged superiority. Continue reading LIFE and Bikini Atoll: The Bomb as spectator sport