(Review) Hiroshima by John Hersey


Publisher and Publication Date: Modern Library. 1946.
Genre: Nonfiction.
Pages: 120.
Source: Found buried under a pile of stuff in my sister’s closet.
Rating: Recommend. Very good.
Audience: Readers of World War II books, especially those interested in the Pacific War.


This is a first edition hardcover book. No dust jacket. The front and back cover of the book is blue. I may be the first reader of this particular book. Of course my copy does not look like the photo on the left.

I read The Rape of Nanking before reading Hiroshima. Both books are hard reads. They pull at the heart. My daddy used to say, “war is a horrible thing, Annette.” He was a soldier in Europe during Word War II.
The book is the story of individuals who survived to share their stories. These people are Miss Toshiko Sasaki, Dr. Masakazu Fujii, Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura, Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, Dr. Terufumi Sasaki, and Reverend Mr. Kiyoshi Tanimoto. They show a broad view of people living in Hiroshima at the time of the blast. And, through their eyes I see what they experienced and observed.
I learned what they thought had happened. The people realized it must have been a bomb, but had no idea what exactly had happened.
I learned about where many of the people went, they walked to a park to await help.
I learned that the doctors had little medical devices to help the people. They ran out of bandages. They had only iodine to use.
The wounded often waited where they were hoping help would come. In one situation, a woman was trapped underneath a bookcase.
People were in a stupor of shock. They sat down on the street with skin hanging from their bodies.
After the bomb, the stages of radiation sickness began.
This is the first book I’ve read about the atomic bombings in Japan.
This book is brief. However, it makes an impact on the reader.


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