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Hiroshima ❴Reading❵ ➿ Hiroshima Author John Hersey – When the atom bomb was dropped on 6 August 1945 it devastated a great city and knocked Japan out of the warJohn Hersey the distinguished American writer was sent nine months later to Hiroshima to find When the atom bomb was dropped on August it devastated a great city and knocked Japan out of the warJohn Hersey the distinguished American writer was sent nine months later to Hiroshima to find out in human and not scientific terms what had happened Little over a year after the event his account appeared in the New Yorker occupying a complete issue and as a PenguinHersey's unforgettable narrative which is built round that experiences of six survivors in a city where men women and children were killed is now re issued as a Penguin Modern Classic It supplies an epitaph to those who died in one of history's most catestrophic events and a grave warning to the present and the futureThe cover designed by Germano Facetti shows a detail from Victims of Hiroshima by Kando Shosoi in the Museum of Hiroshima Bisonte.

10 thoughts on “Hiroshima

  1. Paquita Maria Sanchez Paquita Maria Sanchez says:

    This book will1 Make you cry A lot You will cry on your cigarette break at work so that when you go back to your desk your coworker will see your ragged eyes and think you just got dumped over the phone or found out your cat died No you were just reading about something roughly one googolplex worse but you won't even bother trying to explain because your coworker couldn't give two shits about world history and hadn't even heard about the 2011 mass murder in Oslo until you explained it to her a few weeks ago Blind me centric America folks Scenes from this book will return when you are stuck in traffic and you will cry some Do not operate a motor vehicle under the influence of this book2 Humble you Calling my problems 'problems' is a little difficult after reading this book which is a high achievement in any artistic endeavor Witnessing the sober minded empathetic will of the survivors and the nation itself after suffering one of the most blind unfathomably enormous single blows dealt in all of military history really manages to put the term 'grace' into perspective3 Anger you Arguably the most stomach dropping scene in this two part journalistic piece is not one told from the ground where Hersey largely concentrates but years later on a television set in America The scene featured a spot lit survivor of the atomic bomb a minister a man who put tireless efforts toward assisting his fellow survivors through worldwide fundraising despite the impediment of living as a hibakusha a sufferer of the for generations felt infinitely complex and boundless in physical manifestations lifelong crippling beast that is radiation sickness a man who championed the notion that hatred of America and anger toward the attackers is a knee jerk reaction and that it is the notion of Total War rather than that of American militarism in general or atomic warfare specifically which should be the target of emotional examination and legal action and which should be fought against by redirecting all the power of concentrated anger rippling through Japanese society after the bombs were dropped toward the goals of peace acceptance and precautionary measures taken for the future of the world a man who stood in front of the United States Senate and prayed to them for their welfare congratulated them for their role as the leaders of Planet Earth and thanked them for bringing peace stability and democracy to his nation Here this man sat thinking he was on a local television station promoting his charity designed to raise money for female a bomb victims suffering from physically deforming keloid burn scars on their faces as this is what he was told He was lied to to the extent that a pre show rehearsal was conducted without his knowledge in preparation for this major television event Little did he know he was actually on a popular television show similar to say Oprah or Real Time in front of millions of American viewers stunned to find that as cameras stared at his face a face which heroically attempted but uite understandably failed to mask his sheer horrified astonishment in front of a live studio audience he was introduced to and practically forced to shake hands and have a nice little chat with the co pilot of the Enola Gay a tears feigning man who was late and drunk during the taping because he was angry when he found out he was not receiving a big paycheck for his appearance on the show so he just got lit and showed up all tousled and disoriented Talk about media exploitation Man it has been a long time since I read something which disgusted me so much and that is saying a lot Oh I'm getting flushed with anger just typing about it A lot of pathetic parading of ugly humanity happens here Prepare yourself4 Scar the visual landscape that is your mind The imagery in this thing as told through the recollections of 6 survivors illustrates with emotional restraint in a dry respectfully factual narrative account just what an atomic bomb does to a populace Having grown up in Oklahoma City I have seen the mind boggling destruction which results from a large targeted bomb attack and distinctly recall being in math class 10 miles away from ground zero yet feeling myself shifted in my chair at the moment of explosion I remember wandering into the halls and within twenty minutes hearing the radio and television accounts and witnessing students and faculty alike dropping to the ground in hysterics upon finding out that the city block or even the very building where their husband mother father older brother cousin or best friend worked had been annihilated in a breath those close to them incapable of knowing where they were or if they were I remember my father pulling my brother and I out of school and taking us to witness the destruction so massive in scope so emotionally trying so brain stretching and perspective building in a way which a 13 year old girl had never even thought she would be forced to face or had even considered in her silly pre adolescent mind Reading Hersey's piece I remembered that time the surreal nature and bottomless melancholy of it all and tried to imagine it multiplied by so many times it is a number I am incapable of even estimating Hersey illustrates kimonos permanently scarring flesh with ornamental patterns practically faceless soldiers marching with oozing eyes before dropping to their deaths a pan of a city of moans of pleas for assistance which are drowned out by roaring fires which consume a landscape predominantly composed of rubble a blazing trash heap of screams forcing people to make non stop me or them decisions shadows burned into concrete burial tombs uprooted a sole doctor left to make decisions about who he can save and who he absolutely cannot save with his limited resources working nonstop for days and days with no food or water or sleep or even a single break There was no FEMA dropping in to assist these people There was a small handful of uninjured doctors and nurses dealing with a miles stretching feed line of wounded souls many doomed to death before they even burrowed their way out of the wreckage Sickening5 Terrify you Though I always try my best to keep my ear to the ground concerning current politics particularly the seemingly endless stream of wars conducted in the name of future peace this book perked my ears up even to the subject of nuclear warfare It's so easy to hear that a nation has or could soon have nuclear capabilities and feel only the faintest most abstract fear at the notion It can additionally be such a distant knowledge that what was presumed to be one of the most human rights embracing nations in the world this my country of origin is the only nation in the world throughout all of history to have made the decision to unleash such massive rage and suffering against fellow human beings in pursuit of dominance and stability This supposedly great nation conducted this and one other mission permanently damaging the genetic makeup of thousands upon thousands of people and it terrifies me about what's to come This book terrified me

  2. Greta Greta says:

    “My God what have we done?” Robert Lewis the pilot Hiroshima after the bombingOn August 6 1945 a uiet hysteria buzzed through Hiroshima The Americans had been firebombing Japan for weeks and it was one of only two key cities they had not yet hit A rumour was going around that the Americans were saving something special for the city” The citizens heard the bombing alarm at 7am which wasn‘t unusual or indicating a severe attack However the All clear sounded at 8am and people relaxed started to read their newspapers and cooked breakfast Then at 815am Little Boy was dropped over Hiroshima The bomb kills nearly 100000 people and injures 100000 from the 250 000 that were living in Hiroshima Atomic bomb mushroom cloudHiroshima left and Nagasaki rightIn Hiroshima Hersey traces the lives of six survivors—two doctors two women and two religious men—from the moment the bomb drops until a few months later In 1985 he added a postscript that forms the book’s fifth chapter In this chapter Hersey reexamines these six individuals’ lives in the forty years since the bomb Starting with the “noiseless flash” I was surprised to learn that the people in the city didn‘t hear an explosion and saw nothing than a flash of bright light The typical atomic mushroom and the noise could only be experienced from the outside Over 90% of the population of central Hiroshima perished almost all the families of evacuated six to 11 year olds died Back in the city most of the orphan children died within months of starvationIn the days after the bombing nobody knows what caused such destruction Theories are developed but people are left with ignorance and confusion for an entire week until the news spreads that it was an atomic bomb and they started to remove the dead bodies from the streets At first everyone thought that just their building had been hit and were irritated to see that the entire city was destroyed and on fire The skin of the people in the inner circle basically evaporated many were severely burned causing the people to believe that the Americans had covered them with toxic gas or gasoline that they had set on fire Between life and deathPart of John Hersey’s goal was to show that there was no unified political or national response by the people of Hiroshima but that they came together as a community But despite the community spirit they suffered alone as victims People had severe injuries but did‘t complain or cry out; they suffered silently which Hersey suggests is a uniuely Japanese characteristic; that it‘s important to the individual not to disturb the larger group and call attention to their own needs or pain Thousands of people die all around but no one expresses anger or calls for retribution As Mr Tanimoto ran unharmed through the city he apologized to the masses of injured people he passes for not suffering himself Thirteen year old girls died with noble visions that they were sacrificed for their country and were not concerned for themselves or bitter over their fate This stoicism becomes a major source of pride for them—they could be strong and supportive of their country and receive whatever hardship they were given with powerful silence“ the silence in the grove by the river where hundreds of gruesomely wounded suffered together was one of the most dreadful and awesome phenomena of his whole existence” Distinctive scaringThe water in Hiroshima is a cause of death and disease When Mrs Nakamura and her children drank from the river they vomited the rest of the day because it has been polluted other died from drinking it Mr Tanimoto spend all his energy transporting injured people across the river but many of them drown in the rising tide Floods from a terrible storm wash away hospitals houses and bridges that had survived the bombing The bomb turns day into night conjures up rain and winds and destroys beings from the inside as well as from the outside When the Japanese learn how the bomb was created—by releasing the power inside an atom—they call it the genshi bakudan or original child bomb emphasizing that when men made this bomb they were dealing with forces far beyond their own power The narrative conveys the unsettling sense that the creation and use of the atom bomb crosses an important line between the natural and unnatural world Severe burnings acute radiation syndrome and children born with malformationsWeeks after the explosion after Japan capitulates and Hiroshima begins to rebuild a new terror strikes radiation sickness which can be separated into three stages The first stage is a drop in the number of blood cells causing an anemia extreme hair loss and the death of bone marrow The second stage is gastrointestinal causing extreme nausea vomiting and abdominal pain In the third stage then the victims experience dizziness headaches and loose consciousness This neurological stage is invariably deadly even though every one of the stages can cause death It can occur within minutes or hours people were just dropping dead or fell asleep out of nothing Beyond that men became sterile and women experienced miscarriages Even today people still die from leukemia babies are born with malformations and other disabilities caused by the radiation Removing keloids from a childDr Sasaki spends a lot of his time trying to remove the thick ugly scars called keloids that have grown over burns suffered by the victims without realizing that much of their work has done harm than good The keloids also play an important role in the the lives of the young scarred women who are taken to the US to get plastic surgery When they return to Japan they became objects of “public curiosity” as well as “envy and spite” Employers wouldn‘t hire people with such scars and people didn‘t want their children to marry people who suffered from symptoms of radiation sickness The keloids mark people as survivors of the attack and are a glaring physical symbol of both the damage inflicted by the bomb and the naivety of those who tried to heal Japan’s wounds after the warEvery character we meet inevitably has to deal with the death of close family members and friends as well as being surrounded by death on a massive scale Mrs Nakamura’s neighbor is there one minute and gone the next The severely burned people that Mr Tanimoto helps to the shore one night are drowned by the next morning But even though Hersey does not give the reader many direct views of death there is a constant oppressive and almost suffocating feeling that death is all around John HerseyHiroshima was first published by Hersey in The New Yorker and hailed as one of the greatest pieces of journalism ever written It had a massive impact revealing the full horror and effects of the bombing which had been kept secret by the US government before People all over the world began to understand what really happened not just to the city but to the people It was a radical piece of journalism that gave a voice to those who only a year before had been mortal enemies John Hersey combined all his experience as a war correspondent with his skill as a novelist to demonstrate the enduring power of storytelling while revealing pictures that have been hidden away This is why we need journalists

  3. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    It seems almost indecent to put a rating on this book I feel as if I am giving all these poor people's horrific suffering an excellent Yet this is a very powerful book told in a matter of fact reporting tone and it is an account that puts a human face to this devastation By following certain survivors we come to see and in my case to care greatly about these poor people How much suffering and horror this bomb caused on innocent people at the mercy of their emperor's decisions People like you and I just trying to live their lives feed their children take care of their families Not knowing what happened what type of new weapon caused this total devastation A young doctor one of the few available in the immediate aftermath who tries to take care of those he can with very few supplies and with only one hour of sleep in three days Another man who brings water to those who need it and tries to save as many as he can A young woman holding a dead baby for over four days waiting for her husband to be found so he can say goodbye So much anguish so much heartbreak My husband's uncle was the load master for the Enola Gay the bomber for this terrible act He suffered from depression for the rest of his life Why do these terrible things happen and why do they still continue today?

  4. Jason Koivu Jason Koivu says:

    Haunting Gut wrenchingUtterly shame enducingIn Hiroshima Hersey has cobbled together the tales of a handful of survivors and woven them effortlessly through his narrative to create a spellbinding history lesson not to be forgotten The engrossing eye witness stories are horrifying too real and charged with emotion and drama without the least bit of induced melodrama There's no need Hiroshima shows that truth is far terrible than fiction

  5. Daniel Daniel says:

    I went old school with this one I printed out the original version of John Hersey's article from The New Yorker's Web site so I could read it in its original three columns per page format and surrounded by advertisements for Chesterfield cigarettes US Savings Bonds Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey Rosalind Russell in RKO's Sister Kenny Bell System Overseas Telephone Service and Knox the Hatter on Fifth Avenue at Fortieth StreetThis is the editorial note that ran with Hersey's story in the Aug 31 1946 issue of The New YorkerTO OUR READERSThe New Yorker this week devotes its entire editorial space to an article on the almost complete obliteration of a city by one atomic bomb and what happened to the people of that city It does so in the conviction that few of us have yet comprehended the all but incredible destructive power of this weapon and that everyone might well take time to consider the terrible implications of its use THE EDITORSHersey's book length article focuses primarily on six victims of the bombing Miss Toshiko Sasaki Dr Masakazu Fujii Mrs Hatsuyo Nakamara Father William Kleinsorge Dr Terufumi Sasaki and the Reverend Mr Kiyoshi Tanimoto tracking their lives from the morning of the bombing through the months of its aftermath It's a masterful piece of journalism and of a type little seen any The article has almost no attribution and few uotes Rather it uses a straightforward narrative style telling the story as it happened and the reader simply has to trust that Hersey did the footwork needed to compose his piece And it's obvious he didHersey gives almost no information about the US decision to bomb Hiroshima or the larger context of World War II but rather focuses solely on how the bombing and its aftermath affected the city's people The book is stronger as a result showing the full range of horrors caused by the dropping of an atomic bomb in particular on six people we come to know and care about deeplyIt speaks to Hersey's talents as a writer that despite the tragic subject matter and the physical and emotional turmoils he recounts we the readers don't want the book to end because that means leaving Miss Sasaki Dr Fujii Mrs Nakamura Father Kleinsorge Dr Sasaki no relation to Miss Sasaki and the Reverend Tanimoto behind We want to stay with them and make sure they're able to build new lives for themselvesThe book's last paragraph a school essay written by Toshio Nakamura who was 10 years old when the bomb was dropped is particularly heartbreaking and serves as a fitting coda for Hersey's piece It's short enough to uote here but really needs to be read in context It's the perfect ending to an important stirring work of journalism The entire book is highly recommended for all readers

  6. Timothy Miyahara Timothy Miyahara says:

    Let me start with a preambular warning do NOT buy the kindle edition which is missing Chapter 5 This is the eBook edition published by Pickle Partners ASIN B00U4BBTY Chapter 5 is the John Hersey follow up 40 years later telling the story of the main characters after the original magazine article in 1946 The illustrated kindle edition does not disclose that it includes only the 1946 magazine article text Read a physical edition published after 1989 for a complete pictureAfter reading a note written by a German Jesuit priest who survived the atomic bomb at Hiroshima John Hersey located him and was introduced to five other survivors and documented their stories When I first read the book I found the story moving shocking and disturbing The vivid depictions of the survivors and their struggle to live through the next few days are eye openers The new chapter added 40 years later provides some closure to the story of their livesThe prose is simple yet the reader is able to get a good grasp on events and environment John Hersey wrote Hiroshima in a neutral tone and style He told interviewer Steve Rothman The flat style was deliberate and I still think I was right to adopt it A high literary manner or a show of passion would have brought me into the story as a mediator I wanted to avoid such mediation so the reader's experience would be as direct as possible The New Yorker magazine originally intended to serial publish the story but made an unprecedented decision to devote the entire issue to John Hersey's story When the article was first published it sold out within hours People were hawking the magazine for up to 20 a great sum in those days and the publisher was unable to fulfill Albert Einstein's order of 1000 copiesThe issue of the magazine was prepared in great secrecy even the clerks and staff of The New Yorker magazine itself were not let in on the secret and the weekly proofs for publication were seen only by the editors Part of the reason was the subject John Hersey could not actively seek interviewees in Hiroshima since the atomic bomb's aftereffects were heavily censored by the US Army of Occupation in 1946 Newspapers in Japan were not allowed to mention the atomic bombs and the survivors and even poetry mentioning the events was illegal Attempts by the Nippon Times to publish Hersey's article in Japan were blocked in 1946 but copies of the book in English surreptitiously made their way to Tokyo in 1947 It was eventually allowed to be published there in 1948Many critics on sites like complain Hiroshima does not give the reasons for the US employing the atomic bombs and so is anti American Hersey's purpose was not to delve into the argument of whether the bombs should have been used but to report on its effects and the stories of the survivors This book was originally intended as a long magazine article and it did not have the space to cover all arguments and nuances The debate of whether the bombs should or should not have been used really didn't exist when Hersey wrote Hiroshima in 1946 There was no uestion about using the atomic bombs When the bombs were dropped America and her allies were in the midst of a total war with Japan an embrace of death that neither belligerent was willing or could afford to relax The horrors and struggles of war were still fresh in everyone's minds This was a new horror the face of nuclear war to which Americans were vastly ignorant until John Hersey made the world awareI also read complaints at that the article was unbalanced because Hersey did not list Japan’s war crimes especially the Nanking Massacre or that because of these war crimes the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki got what they deserved These arguments are specious at best and immoral at worst There can be no doubt the Japanese military and the Japanese government were responsible for many war crimes perhaps even on a greater scale than Nazi Germany The Nanking Massacre the Bataan Death March the Laha Massacre and the Sandakan Death March to list but a few The victims of man's inhumanity to man whether they died in the bombing of Rotterdam the Holocaust the Nanking Massacre the Bismarck Sea incident the Coventry Blitz the firebombing of Dresden the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the Malmedy Massacre few if any of the victims deserved death The people were all sons and daughters; some were husbands wives brothers or sisters Each one was a human being with a name hopes and dreams Each has a story and should be respected and rememberedWar is savage and brutal but one tragedy does not justify the next and the killing of one prisoner or civilian does not justify the killing of anotherEvery victim deserves to be remembered and have their story told Hiroshima gives a face to the victims of the atomic bombs This is their story

  7. Steven Godin Steven Godin says:

    On August 6th 1945 the people of Hiroshima will witness the darkest of days as at 815am a vision of hell on earth shall arrive on their doorsteps the atomic bomb 100000 men women and children lost their lives with countless seriously burned injured and mentally scared for life This is the story of six survivors including doctors priests and parents who show great courage strength and determination at a time of complete and utter chaos to help whose in need Using a simple prose reminiscent of such writers as Yasunari kawabata John Hersey basically splits the book in two firstly we have the immediate aftermath of events where widespread panic and confusion are placed on those who managed to survive and try to grasp just what is going on around them and rather than go into too much detail regarding the actual deaths which were just horrific Hersey mainly pays attention to those frantically looking for loved ones or those able enough to help Into the second half the six individuals are looked at in detail during the years following war and here it becomes very moving and life affirming to see the spirit and resolve they use to do good and make the most of their lives which almost bought a tear to my eye If I could be granted just one wish world peace would be the only thing on my mind and today we need it than ever as there doesn't seem to be a day that goes by without an atrocity taking place somewhere Sadly that's just a distant dream but we must always live in hope Lovepeace

  8. Kasia Kasia says:

    I was 2 when Chernobyl blew up it was a perfect sunny day or so I'm told The airborne nuclear waste was making its way through Poland over to Norway My parents were pruning blackberry bushes getting weeds out from between the carrots and the parsnips blissfully unaware of the horrors going on few hundred km to the east Little Kasia was helping them out pulling out baby beets with a great enthusiasm Basking in the toxic sun The reactor collapse was made public days after the explosion and only because in Sweden at an another nuclear facility noticed increased radioactivity levels on their own clothes and figured out something nasty must have happened in the eastern block Sneaky communist governments with their sneaky conspiracies That's my own little nuclear story Nothing in comparison to Hersey's Hiroshima Because Hiroshima has pounded me into the ground Bodies evaporated on spot shadows of people in mid motion cast into stones Hersey's second by second account of the bombing has a feel of Armagedon The intricate burn patterns you'd often recognise the lace flower patterns of their former clothing in their injuries add absurdity to the situation The radiation sickness people puking out their insides not knowing why Utter confusion as to what actually happened Miles of concrete city block obliterated with people still alive burried under it No real help ever to come Not with this level of destruction And the book doesn't stop there Hershey's aftermath is thorough You get to hear about the conseuences of the bombing Both long and short term It turns out nobody was left unaffectedThere's the poor government handling of the survivors Hiroshima was pretty much left to tend to its own needs Only years later a special health support system was introduced There's the initial unwillingness of health professionals to provide help to Hiroshima victims There's the sense of isolation loss and depression hunting survivors in years to come Because how do you live past an apocalypse?It's an emotionally draining book hard to get through but very much worth the strain Well written well reached and very well thought out it touches on all the important aspects of the bombing I highly recommend it

  9. Hirdesh Hirdesh says:

    “Do not work primarily for money; do your duty to patients first and let the money follow; our life is short we don't live twice; the whirlwind will pick up the leaves and spin them but then it will drop them and they will form a pile” Stunning Book report on Atomic Bomb explosion by US on Japan during WWIISpecial piece of writing and all data's near about the FactsIt expressed frantically by different perceptionsReveals by various person was remained alive and their efforts made in that drastic and vital situationIn end it describes hows such nuclear devastation could lead to atmospheric as well human deparature if ever would be come in used in anyway

  10. Jon Nakapalau Jon Nakapalau says:

    It is not often that I find myself unable to convey the magnitude of importance a book has but that is exactly where I am at when trying to describe this book Read it look at our world try to get others to read it hopefully a critical mass of common sense will implode in our collective hearts

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