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First into Nagasaki | [George Weller]

First into Nagasaki

On September 6, 1945, less than a month after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, George Weller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, became the first free Westerner to enter the devastated city. Going into the hospitals and consulting the doctors of the bomb's victims, Weller was the first to document its unprecedented long-range medical effects. He also became the first to enter the nearby Allied POW camps, which rivaled those of the Nazis for cruelty and bested them for death count.
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Publisher's Summary

On September 6, 1945, less than a month after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, George Weller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, became the first free Westerner to enter the devastated city. Going into the hospitals and consulting the doctors of the bomb's victims, Weller was the first to document its unprecedented long-range medical effects. He also became the first to enter the nearby Allied POW camps, which rivaled those of the Nazis for cruelty and bested them for death count. Among these prisoners' untold stories was that of their voyage to imprisonment in Japan on "hellships" that transported them so inhumanely that one third died in transit.

Heavily censored by General MacArthur, most of these dispatches were never published and believed lost - until now. This historic body of work is a stirring reminder of the courage of rogue reporting that ferrets out the truth.

©2006 Anthony Weller; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Weller's dispatches from Nagasaki are riveting, even at this late date...a welcome addition to the historical record." (Publishers Weekly)
"As the number of nations capable of producing nuclear weapons appears to be growing, this gruesome glimpse at the results of nuclear war is timely and important." (Booklist)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Harold La Mesa, CA, USA 02-15-07
    Harold La Mesa, CA, USA 02-15-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First Into Nagasaki"

    As Walter Cronkite says in the introduction, "This is an important book".

    There are many strong images about the Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki that have been promoted for the last sixty-two years that are significantly changed by this monumental history. The effect of "Bomb" was, in fact, much different than I was taught as an average American born in 1948. The dis-information purpetrated by General MacArthur and the Truman Administration is important for everyone to understand.

    The Bomb was much less powerful and all devastating than portrayed and the effect of gamma radiation was much more than the U. S. Government wanted people to know about for fear of being tried for crimes against humanity.

    The story of the terrible war crimes in the Japanese Prisoner of War camps is something Americans need to know about.

    I highly recommend this book. It should be required reading in all High Schools.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Prairie Village, KS, USA 03-04-08
    George Prairie Village, KS, USA 03-04-08 Member Since 2002
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    "60 years late-but still timely"

    This book is derived from the lost carbon copies of dispatches that General MacArthur's censors destroyed. Pulitzer Prize winning newsman George Weller spend his life frustrated at the loss of his incredible, first person, observations of Nagasaki within five weeks of the detonation.
    His son located the lost carbons after his father's death in 2003. His compilation and commentary document the origins of our government's massive censorship of the press in peacetime.
    Newsman Weller was reporting from post-surrender Japan. The official basis for WWII military censorship was to protect our troops, their positions, their defenses and plans of attack. Once the war was over and the occupation of Japan began, the rationale for censorship ceased - but the censors never stopped. The lies of our government are now laid bare.
    This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step back into 1944-45 and live among the troops, Japanese citizens post nuclear attack & surrender, and experience the ghastly treatment of POW's by the Japanese. It is reportage as it should be today. A must buy!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wil 12-22-09
    Wil 12-22-09 Member Since 2009

    Retired from the U.S. Air Force and the Boeing Company. My interests lie mainly with Non-Fiction.

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    "Very intense and sadening"

    I found myself sadened and I had some difficulty getting through it. Although I knew something of the torture the Japanese dispensed during WWII, this book really sheds needed light on the amount of brutality experienced at the hands of the Japanese Army. A gruesome story that just had to be told in its truth and entirety. This book hit's that mark quite well. Something, I will never forget and will say an additional prayer for our heros who fought so bravely and suffered so much.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Sacramento, CA USA 03-07-10
    Sandra Sacramento, CA USA 03-07-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Very Insightful"

    I agree with previous reviewers thoughts re prisoners of war in Japan--horrendous treatment of all prisoners especially in the transport ships as well as the camps. In addition, I found Weller's commentary on military censorship very thought-provoking. When is it appropriate for the government to censor because of national security, and when is it their attempt to put the "right spin" on it. I'm inclined to think it's more the latter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    03-06-10
    03-06-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Not right for an audiobook"

    This is probably an excellent book in hard copy, but it does not work at all as an audiobook. There are entire chapters of quotes from soldiers, all read by the narrator in various poor accents. The majority of the book has a scrapbook feel to it that just doesn't translate into audio well at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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