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First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness…
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First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic…

by George Weller

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Recently added bybusterrll, Dmoorela, private library, bke, KirkLowery, krv64, mississauga
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» See also 14 mentions

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This is a book about military censorship. MacArthur and the US government did not want any reportage of any lingering or long-term radiation affects of the bomb. That is why Weller's dispatches were suppressed. Interestingly, Hiroshima was much more destructive because its topography was flat, whereas Nagasaki's was much more hilly. But Nagasaki reportage was just 20% or so of the book. Most of the book was about his reports of the Japanese POW camps, and the atrocities done there. I was most impressed by the quality of his dispatches: the facts and just the facts. There is relative little spin. Very, very different from the reporting done by "embedded" reporters during the Iraq War. Here is an example of "objective" reporting, that I miss from any journalist in any media today. Raw history. Recommended.
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
Excellent addition to anyone reading about WWII, Japan, atomic bombs, Gen MacArthur, prisoners of war. There will never be a definitive answer to the question of should we have dropped the bombs, but this adds info about the question of the character of the Japanese at war. They would never have stopped fighting until the Emperor told them to. Their treatment of prisoners reveals what they would have been like as conquerors and masters. Have they ever accepted responsibility for their part in starting the war? The hell they put the pows through... no words are good enough to describe it. Talks about the propaganda presented after the war by both sides. Does not attempt to give a final answer, but does present more information that should be considered... ( )
  bgknighton | Jan 29, 2014 |
This book is mistitled. Very little of it is about Nagasaki. Almost all of it is about the POWs in Japan and on the way to Japan in aptly described “death ships.” It has so little about Nagasaki, it is almost false advertising.

The death ship narrative is a feat of exceptional journalism and told with gruesome, but respectful detail.

A strong book, but the misleading title is an annoyance. ( )
  yeremenko | Apr 6, 2011 |
The POW death ships in first-person clarity
Found mouldering in a trunk 50 years later, these dispatches tell riveting stories. The Nagasaki stories make up the first part of the book, but the really gripping stories are later in the book, when George interviews surviving POW's in Japan and writes vividly about the death ships that carried these men to Japan. ( )
  artnking | Feb 23, 2010 |
Absolute must regarding the true history of WWII in the Pacific. Not much about Nagasaki really, but eyewitness account of our men in Japanese prisons. I do NOT approve of war, and this book explains one more reason not to go along with our political "leaders". ( )
  bluesviola | Feb 23, 2008 |
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The importance of the dispatches, however, extends far beyond the value of the information from Nagasaki. George Weller is a voice from a past generation, and the publication of his censored dispatches raises a series of deeply important issues and, in the process, reveals an immense cultural divide between his world and ours today.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307342018, Hardcover)

George Weller was a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter who covered World War II across Europe, Africa, and Asia. At the war’s end in September 1945, under General MacArthur’s media blackout, correspondents were forbidden to enter both Nagasaki and Hiroshima. But instead of obediently staying with the press corps in northern Japan, Weller broke away. The intrepid newspaperman reached Nagasaki just weeks after the atomic bomb hit the city. Boldly presenting himself as a U.S. colonel to the Japanese military, Weller set out to explore the devastation.

As Nagasaki’s first outside observer, long before any American medical aid arrived, Weller witnessed the bomb’s effects and wrote “the anatomy of radiated man.” He interviewed doctors trying to cure those dying mysteriously from “Disease X.” He typed far into every night, sending his forbidden dispatches back to MacArthur’s censors, assuming their importance would make them unstoppable. He was wrong: the U.S. government censored every word, and the dispatches vanished from history.

Weller also became the first to enter the nearby Allied POW camps. From hundreds of prisoners he gathered accounts of watching the atomic explosions bring an end to years of torture and merciless labor in Japanese mines. Their dramatic testimonies sum up one of the least-known chapters of the war—but those stories, too, were silenced.

It is a powerful experience, more than 60 years later, to walk with Weller through the smoldering ruins of Nagasaki, or hear the sagas of prisoners who have just learned that their torment is over, and watch one of the era’s most battle-experienced reporters trying to accurately and unsentimentally convey to the American people scenes unlike anything he—or anyone else—knew.

Weller died in 2002, believing it all lost forever. Months later, his son found a fragile copy in a crate of moldy papers. This historic body of work has never been published.

Along with reports from the brutal POW camps, a stirring saga of the worst of the Japanese “hellships” which carried U.S. prisoners into murder and even cannibalism, and a trove of Weller’s unseen photos, First into Nagasaki provides a moving, unparalleled look at the bomb that killed more than 70,000 people and ended WWII. Amid current disputes over the controlled embedding of journalists in war zones and a government’s right to keep secrets, it reminds us how such courageous rogue reporting is still essential to learning the truth.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Weller covered World War II across Europe, Africa, and Asia. At war's end, correspondents were forbidden to enter Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but Weller, presenting himself as a U.S. colonel, set out to explore the devastation. As Nagasaki's first outside observer, he witnessed the bomb's effects. He interviewed doctors trying to cure those dying mysteriously from "Disease X." He sent his forbidden dispatches back to MacArthur's censors, assuming their importance would make them unstoppable. He was wrong: the U.S. government censored every word, and the dispatches vanished from history. Weller also became the first to enter nearby POW camps. He gathered accounts from hundreds of Allied prisoners--but those too were silenced. Weller died in 2002, believing it all lost forever. Months later, his son found a fragile copy in a crate of moldy papers. This historic body of work has never been published.--From publisher description.… (more)

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