The National Air and Space Museum's attempt to mount an exhibition featuring the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, broke down in a firestorm of controversy. Even fifty years after the end of World War II, many of the issues the exhibit would have covered - the difficult decision whether to drop the bomb or mount a full-scale invasion of Japan; the conduct of troops on both sides; the attempt to display artifacts once belonging to citizens killed by the bomb (which would, in some people's eyes, grant the Japanese nation the status of victims); the nuclear arms race that followed the end of the war - proved too painfully divisive for America to confront dispassionately. Not only did liberals fight with conservatives, but different factions and different military organizations advanced conflicting views as well. This was not the first museum exhibition to become a political football, but it may have been the most important, and its failure is a signal cultural event of our time. Martin Harwit was the Director of the National Air and Space Museum until shortly after the exhibit's cancellation under congressional pressure, after which he resigned his post. His beautifully written and extensively documented book tells the entire story, from the initial decision to restore Enola Gay through the breakdown of cooperation to the cancellation amid a well-organized p.r. campaign by military groups opposed to the exhibit.