Americans in particular use the atomic bombings as a short-hand for thinking about vitally important present-day issues like the ends justifying the means, who the appropriate targets of war are, and the use of force in general. Unfortunately, quite a lot of what Americans think they know about the atomic bombs is dramatically out of alignment with how historians understand them, and this shapes their takes on these present-day issues as well.
One of the reasons I enjoy reading history is learning about all the different ways my classic K-12 education was skewed, biased, simplified, or even dead wrong. It’s better to know the truth than be comforted.
In that vein, I highly recommend reading What journalists should know about the atomic bombings. It’s straightforward, does not contain appeals to emotion, and takes a historical perspective on what actually happened and why.