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Hiroshima

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  55,196 ratings  ·  2,732 reviews
When the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945, killing 100,000 men, women and children, a new era in human history opened. Written only a year after the disaster, John Hersey brought the event vividly alive with this heartrending account of six men and women who survived despite all the odds. A further chapter was added when, forty years later, he ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 28th 2002 by Penguin Modern Classics (first published 1946)
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Tony Hersey himself published "Hiroshima: The Aftermath. Survivors’ stories."
in the July 15, 1985 issue of The New Yorker Magazine (the same magazine that…more
Hersey himself published "Hiroshima: The Aftermath. Survivors’ stories."
in the July 15, 1985 issue of The New Yorker Magazine (the same magazine that published his watershed "Hiroshima" in the Aug. 24, 1946 issue).

The magazine has kindly placed the entire text of this follow-up online (together with Hersey's original 1946 reporting):
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/19...

Also see:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/19...(less)
Jypsel Reads YES! I just taught this to my 8th graders and it was a very important read for them. It really opens their eyes to what humanity is capable of, no…moreYES! I just taught this to my 8th graders and it was a very important read for them. It really opens their eyes to what humanity is capable of, no matter what your patriotic or political allegiance. (less)

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Paquita Maria Sanchez
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book will:

1) 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
...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jason Koivu
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Haunting.

Gut-wrenching.

Utterly shame-enducing.

In 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 more terrible than fiction.
Daniel
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
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, U.S. 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 Street.

This is the editorial note that ran with Hersey's story
...more
Timothy Miyahara
Let me start with a preambular warning: do NOT buy the Amazon kindle edition which is missing Chapter 5. This is the eBook edition published by Pickle Partners (ASIN B00QU4BBTY). 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 more complete picture.
...more
Kasia
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Steven Godin
On August 6th, 1945, the people of Hiroshima will witness the darkest of days, as at 8.15am a vision of hell on earth shall arrive on their doorsteps, the atomic bomb. 100,000 men, women and children lost their lives with countless more 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 ...more
Hirdesh
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 WWII.
Special piece of writing and all data's near-about the Facts.
It expressed frantically , by different perceptions.
Reveals by various person was remained alive and their efforts made in
...more
Cbj
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A deferential account of the Hiroshima bombing. It is told through the lives of six people – two Christian priests, two doctors, a mother of three and a clerk. It is not sensational at all and people who have been numbed by watching too many zombie movies might not enjoy it. John Hershey gives us a short account of the lives of each character and what they were doing on the morning that the bomb hit. These short accounts tell us what Japanese society was like during the war. The Christian priest ...more
Jon Nakapalau
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.
Jimmy
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, war-ww2
I always wondered if those atomic bombs had not been dropped, would that have increased the chances some other president or other country might have dropped one later in history? Did they serve as a deterrent once everyone witnessed the results?

Or this question: If there were survivors, why not practice hiding under your desk? Maybe it could save your life?

Or this: If you were a soldier fighting the Japanese, would you want the bombs dropped?

The Japanese avoided using the word "survivors."
...more
Matt
Most painful and most disturbing even after seventy years.


KOJIRI Tsutomu; Shrine gate and the Hiroshima Dome.
[Image taken from Children of the Atomic Bomb; used without permission]
(see status updates for more images)
Peacegal
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Important" is the first word that comes to mind. Everyone should occasionally read books that remind us of the human costs of war, as it's easy to grow complacent.
Diane in Australia
Very good book where the author follows the lives of several survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima.

4 Stars = It gave me much food for thought.
Smiley
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, japan
3.75 stars

Since many years ago I've seen this book on display in various bookstores in Bangkok and abroad but I didn't have any motive to buy a copy to read. Till I read some books written as more and more voices that reflect the atomic bomb aftermath in Hiroshima in 1945 before the end of World War II. For example, The Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath (Grove Press, 1985) edited by Kenzaburo Oe, Hiroshima Diary (The University of North Carolina Press, 1995) by Michihiko
...more
Jr Bacdayan
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We've all heard about the Atomic bomb, whether it's the Scientific or Military point of view, it's always referred to as something majestic and always entails awe and power. John Hersey's journalistic master-piece uses a different approach, it uses the humanistic view towards the use of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Mr. Hersey writes it in a matter-of-fact way. Cold, detached, and straight to the point. He doesn't add drama or enhances the material, the blunt truth is enough to make it ...more
Yamilet
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had its disturbing moments but it was very exciting.The book described the experience that these six survivors had after the atomic bomb was dropped on the city,Hiroshima. Jhon Hersey included even the smallest but most dramatic details from their stories. Not just researching but to acctually talk to the people who witness this horrible event was brilliant. It is a serious and definitly captivating book.I truly reccomend this book to those who enjoy exciting world histroy book.
Shaun
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Today's world leaders, especially Trump, should read this book. In the case of Trump, who by his own reporting doesn't read, maybe he could have someone else read it for him and break it down point by point into twitter style updates.

Just saying...Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Read this with my soon to be 9th grader and found it worthwhile as it is a great book to provoke discussion of the real costs of war, human and otherwise, as well as the complex moral issues
...more
Zak
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The writer takes a strictly journalistic and impersonal approach to his reporting on the bombing of Hiroshima. This is meant to leave readers to form their own conclusions on the ethical aspects of this disaster. Perhaps, at the time this story was published in its entirety by the New Yorker, there was little knowledge or comprehension in the West about the horrible effects of this "greatest achievement of organized science in history" (excerpt from statement by US President Harry Truman who ...more
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
The horrifying testimonies of six civilians in the days after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, included are an impressive set of pictures, particularly chilling are the before and after photos. A must read.
Kathryn
This is one of those books I meant to read years ago but never found the time, even considering the short length. I knew the book began as an article Hersey published in The New Yorker, roughly one year after the events described. I am surprised this book did not effect me more. Not that I planned to be lost in newly discovered grief but I am afraid that the knowledge I already possessed about this period deadened my reaction to Hersey's words. I have read more terrifying accounts but I am sure ...more
TheSkepticalReader
I read this very quietly. And I don’t mean by isolating myself in a silent room. Quietly as in with careful consideration of the words Hersey uses. It’s a book that reads very serenely. Isn’t that strange and awful?

Hiroshima covers the stories of six survivors of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on 6th August, 1945. This is one of those brief covered topics in school that is difficult to talk about even 70 years after the event. Difficult because it shouldn’t be so hard to separate
...more
Chrissie
ETA: Check out these two books too:

Truman (My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...)

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...)

********************************


Remember, my rating is in no way a judgment of the suffering of those who lived through or died as a result of the events that occurred in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.Although it does feel wrong to give this book anything but five stars, my reaction
...more
Martin
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'When he had penetrated the bushes, he saw there were about twenty men, and they were all in exactly the same nightmarish state: their faces were wholly burned, their eyesockets were hollow, the fluid from their melted eyes had run down their cheeks. [...] Their mouths were mere swollen, pus-covered wounds, which they could not bear to stretch enough to admit the spout of the teapot.' (pp.51-52)

Really powerful account of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, its immediate impact on
...more
Murtaza
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suspect that most people have at some point in their lives contemplated the implications of their hometown being hit by a nuclear weapon. There are only two cities on earth that have actually had to confront that terrifying experience: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This book is an account of the bombing of Hiroshima from six survivors, as well as a retrospective on their lives published four decades later. It is truly a vision of a world transformed into hell. I will not get into the pornographic ...more
Dhanaraj Rajan
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On 6th August, 1945 the first ever Atomic bomb was dropped on humanity. The location was Hiroshima in Japan. A lively city that was touted to be the capital of Japan at the fall of Tokyo in World War II was in a moment turned into a dead city with nothing but ruins.

A Sample Picture:

description

The devastation conceded some the existence of some 'survivors' - the Japanese government did not want to use the word survivors for it was in a way rendering disrespect to those who had perished. So the word used was
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: war, 501, history
Very informative! I was not yet born (of course) when the bombing in Hiroshima happened and what I read so far are cold fact history books. In this novel, John Hersey effectively used 6 characters to describe without any bias what happened in Hiroshima the day before the bombing up to a year after. I read most parts while waiting for my family roaming around Fort Santiago one Sunday afternoon and the surrounding was perfect!
Erik Graff
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Einar Graff
Shelves: history
I read this up at grandmother's cottage on Lake Michigan during summer break from high school. I had previously read quite a bit of near-future science fiction describing the effects of nuclear blasts, but never something so long describing real effects on real people. The fact that its author had been a war correspondent, involved, like my father, in campaigns on both theatres and awarded a medal for heroism on Guadalcanal, the fact that he had reason to be prejudiced against the Japanese, just ...more
Terris
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A very interesting non-fiction, heart-rending story of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in August of 1945. It follows six people who survived, and the story is told in such a way that the reader can follow what happened chronologically through time and see what the people there went through. So sad :'(
Noninuna
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you ever heard people said that reading a book is like seeing a movie in your head? This book is exactly like that to me!

John Hersey wrote a vivid narration of the bombing following 6 victims; Mrs Nakamura, Dr. Sasaki, Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, Miss Sasaki, Mr Tanimoto and Dr Fujii; starting from the morning of the d-day, when it happened, after the bombing and the aftermath, where the author revisited these people after a few years had passed. It also shows how these different people lives

...more
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John Richard Hersey was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer and journalist considered one of the earliest practitioners of the so-called New Journalism, in which storytelling devices of the novel are fused with non-fiction reportage. Hersey's account of the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, was adjudged the finest piece of journalism of the 20th century by a 36-member ...more
“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.” 35 likes
“There, in the tin factory, in the first moment of the atomic age, a human being was crushed by books.” 27 likes
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