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Hiroshima by John Hersey
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Hiroshima (original 1946; edition 1989)

by John Hersey

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3,437561,568 (4.01)118
Member:bookczuk
Title:Hiroshima
Authors:John Hersey
Info:Vintage Books; Random House (1989), Edition: 49th printing, Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Hiroshima by John Hersey (1946)

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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
I realize that John Hersey is a name few people under 60 will recognize. In my late teenage years, his was a name to be reckoned with. A Bell for Adano and White Lotus are titles I still carry in my petrified memory. And after (finally) getting around to reading Hiroshima, I know why.

Hiroshima is pure journalism — make no mistake about it. But it’s journalism with integrity. It’s journalism in which the writer has put himself aside, and accurately reported. Since he, personally, wasn’t there the day the bomb dropped, he reported what he found out first-hand from survivors — about both the players and the props upon that dreadful stage.

John Hersey was from the old school of journalism — which is to say, he reported accurately, without embellishment, without hyperbole, without slant. The story of Hiroshima doesn’t need embellishment, hyperbole or slant. The story of Hiroshima (and Nagasaki) is monolithic.

You might well read Cervantes’ Don Quixote and be as swayed by its message. But for that, you’d need at least a couple of weeks (if you’re lucky), a couple of months (if you’re not). Hiroshima is something you can read in a couple of days. I know. I did. And yes, “everyone able to read should read it.”

RRB
8/07/13
Brooklyn, NY

( )
  RussellBittner | Dec 12, 2014 |
First published in 1946, this simple little book recounts the experiences of six civilian inhabitants of Hiroshima who survived the atomic blast on April 6, 1945. Few residents recall hearing any sound from the explosion, just the bright flash and the shock wave. Even those who died soon after most often did so in silence. The book tells what those 6 were doing that morning, what happened when the atomic bomb exploded, and how they coped in the hours, days, weeks and months that followed. The final chapter returns 40 years later to follow up on the rest of their lives.

I've heard rave and almost reverential recommendations of this book and wondered if my thoughts would be changed by reading it. The text is mostly straightforward and seemingly neutral in its judgment; it reports that most Hiroshimans did not blame the US for the bomb, they just wanted to get on with their lives as best they could. It is not until the very end that it seems to take on an agenda, and while I found the initial part of the book fascinating and compelling, the follow-up chapter was disappointing. It isn't especially graphic or horrific in its account, but does portray what ordinary Japanese experienced, and made me feel grateful that such weapons have not been used since 1945.

I think this is a worthwhile book for anyone interested in the topic to read. But I would urge you *not* to read with the intent to fortify your views either way - the book's focus is much too narrow for such - but to read it for the history and human experience it reports. ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
First published in 1946, this simple little book recounts the experiences of six civilian inhabitants of Hiroshima who survived the atomic blast on April 6, 1945. Few residents recall hearing any sound from the explosion, just the bright flash and the shock wave. Even those who died soon after most often did so in silence. The book tells what those 6 were doing that morning, what happened when the atomic bomb exploded, and how they coped in the hours, days, weeks and months that followed. The final chapter returns 40 years later to follow up on the rest of their lives.

I've heard rave and almost reverential recommendations of this book and wondered if my thoughts would be changed by reading it. The text is mostly straightforward and seemingly neutral in its judgment; it reports that most Hiroshimans did not blame the US for the bomb, they just wanted to get on with their lives as best they could. It is not until the very end that it seems to take on an agenda, and while I found the initial part of the book fascinating and compelling, the follow-up chapter was disappointing. It isn't especially graphic or horrific in its account, but does portray what ordinary Japanese experienced, and made me feel grateful that such weapons have not been used since 1945.

I think this is a worthwhile book for anyone interested in the topic to read. But I would urge you *not* to read with the intent to fortify your views either way - the book's focus is much too narrow for such - but to read it for the history and human experience it reports. ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
First published in 1946, this simple little book recounts the experiences of six civilian inhabitants of Hiroshima who survived the atomic blast on April 6, 1945. Few residents recall hearing any sound from the explosion, just the bright flash and the shock wave. Even those who died soon after most often did so in silence. The book tells what those 6 were doing that morning, what happened when the atomic bomb exploded, and how they coped in the hours, days, weeks and months that followed. The final chapter returns 40 years later to follow up on the rest of their lives.

I've heard rave and almost reverential recommendations of this book and wondered if my thoughts would be changed by reading it. The text is mostly straightforward and seemingly neutral in its judgment; it reports that most Hiroshimans did not blame the US for the bomb, they just wanted to get on with their lives as best they could. It is not until the very end that it seems to take on an agenda, and while I found the initial part of the book fascinating and compelling, the follow-up chapter was disappointing. It isn't especially graphic or horrific in its account, but does portray what ordinary Japanese experienced, and made me feel grateful that such weapons have not been used since 1945.

I think this is a worthwhile book for anyone interested in the topic to read. But I would urge you *not* to read with the intent to fortify your views either way - the book's focus is much too narrow for such - but to read it for the history and human experience it reports. ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
Classic text on the atomic bombing ( )
  BondLamberty | Jul 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Herseyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Asner, EdwardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Biggs, Geoffrey, 1908-1971.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At exactly fifteen minutes past eight in the morning, on August 6, 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Miss Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning her head to speak to the girl at the next desk.
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Hiroshima originally appeared in The New Yorker.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679721037, Mass Market Paperback)

When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, few could have anticipated its potential for devastation. Pulitzer prize-winning author John Hersey recorded the stories of Hiroshima residents shortly after the explosion and, in 1946, Hiroshima was published, giving the world first-hand accounts from people who had survived it. The words of Miss Sasaki, Dr. Fujii, Mrs. Nakamara, Father Kleinsorg, Dr. Sasaki, and the Reverend Tanimoto gave a face to the statistics that saturated the media and solicited an overwhelming public response. Whether you believe the bomb made the difference in the war or that it should never have been dropped, "Hiroshima" is a must read for all of us who live in the shadow of armed conflict.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:47 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey's journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic "that stirs the conscience of humanity" (The New York Times). Almost four decades after the original publication of this celebrated book, John Hersey went back to Hiroshima in search of the people whose stories he had told. His account of what he discovered about them is now the eloquent and moving final chapter of Hiroshima.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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