Marcelaine's Reviews > Hiroshima

Hiroshima by John Hersey
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Dec 13, 14

bookshelves: highly-recommended, non-fiction
Read in January, 2012

This is a book about the experiences of six people who were at Hiroshima when the atom bomb was dropped, and who survived. I read it for a class I am taking about the world since 1945.

The first thing that stuck out to me as I read this book was that the people who were still alive after Hiroshima was bombed were really confused. This was unlike any other bombing, and they were all speculating as to what kind of bomb had been used or what the Americans had done to cause so much damage.

It was interesting and a little horrific to learn about the injuries people sustained and the ways the radiation affected people. Before fires had even started, people were coming out with horrible burns and skin falling off because the bomb had released so much heat. Then there was a strong wind and fires spread through the city rapidly. There wasn't time to rescue people who were trapped under buildings because Hiroshima was burning so quickly.

It was interesting to learn about the effects of the radiation, even on people who appeared to emerge relatively unscathed. Minor cuts took weeks or months to heal, people would randomly become dizzy and weak, all sorts of parts of the body struggled to function properly, and babies who were born after the bombing had smaller heads than normal, just to name a few of the effects. It was difficult to treat many of these people because the ailments were things the doctors had never seen before--and the problem was augmented by the fact that most of the doctors were dead or severely wounded, and the doctors who were left couldn't do much because there were so many injured people and not a lot of medical supplies. So a lot of people died who might have lived if they had been able to receive proper medical attention. Most of the characters suffered from effects of the radiation for the rest of their lives.
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