Susie's Reviews > Hiroshima

Hiroshima by John Hersey
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Apr 04, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction

In order to stave off the monotony of watching my students conduct library research, I picked this book up off the workroom shelves last week (I had finished grading my most recent set of essays two days earlier). I've wanted to read the book for quite some time, as it had been recommended by a friend and former colleague and it provides a different perspective on my recent obsession with the Pacific War. The organization of the book itself reminded me of another work I teach, Thorton Wilder's fictional story THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY. HIROSHIMA, like Wilder's novel, follows the lives of 6 people impacted by a significant moment of crisis. I really enjoyed getting to know the hibakusha (explosion-affected persons) who's lives were detailed in the book. I found their understanding of themselves and their circumstances fascinating, and the book spoke to me of humanity's unlimited capacity to forgive. In all...though I still know the dropping of the atomic bomb is much more gray than many would like to believe, I appreciated the opportunity to see and experience someone "on the other side" who's life was made available to me for a moment. In that, more than anything else, lies the greatness of this book.
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