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Publisher's Summary

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey's journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic "that stirs the conscience of humanity" (The New York Times). 

Almost four decades after the original publication of this celebrated book, John Hersey went back to Hiroshima in search of the people whose stories he had told. His account of what he discovered about them is now the eloquent and moving final chapter of Hiroshima.

©1946, 1985 John Hersey (P)2019 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Hiroshima

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Must read book

I don't recall ever learning too much about Hiroshima in school at all. To hear these first hand accounts of people that went through this horrible event is heart wrenching. I feel this book should be read by everyone at any age to fully comprehend what happened to all those innocent, helpless people and to understand the ramifications of this type of warfare.

2 people found this helpful

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Real Life Tragedy

An amazing recount of one of the worst events in history. Please take the time to read this book.

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There are better accounts

NAGASAKI by Susan Southard is a far better account of all aspects of the immediate consequence and long term aftermath of the bombing. Hiroshima feels somewhat empty, by comparison. Actually, I was quite bored and ceased reading by the final chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DB
  • 08-21-20

Is there any reader better than George Guidall?

I don’t think so. There are those that are different-but no one better. And SIMPLY PERFECT for this material.
An astonishing read. Thank you George.

1 person found this helpful

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This can not happen again

I understand why John Hersey’s book created such a stir when it was first published. The notion that the dean of thousands was necessary to prevent more deaths by invasion is certainly questioned.as gospel by the American people. I thin on this deaths and how America alone has seen over 160,000 people die by the corona virus under incompetent leadership.

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Review by Tisha Snyder

I chose 5 stars because it was a good read. It was well written, included multiple characters and made you feel like you were a part of the history of the Atomic Bomb and its affects on Hiroshima and its people. It included understanding the culture of the Japanese people and how they got through h to w aftermath of such a cataclysmic event. The reader had great time and voice inflection. I recommend highly.

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Engaging and powerful

Easy to listen to and a wonderful insight to the experiences of the people affected by the bomb. The opinions were also not what I expected to come from people who went through this.

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Restrained but gripping

John Hersey’s short book “Hiroshima” is a powerful piece of reporting. In four chapters, he gives us a series of snapshots of the suffering that descended without warning on the city on 6 August 1945; and he follows up with a chapter tracing the lives of the six survivors he focused on through the first part of the book.

One of the most wrenching passages comes in this later section. As a number of survivors join groups to campaign for world peace and against nuclear weapons, Hersey calmly recites the dates when other countries first tested their own nuclear weapons. First the USSR. Then England. Then India. Then France. And then.... the hydrogen bomb. US intelligence agencies had these groups, including some of the survivors — one of them a Methodist minister — under surveillance, debating whether they were “Reds”.

Hersey's description of the carnage is actually quite restrained. Hersey mentions people being vaporized; in the next stage, people began arriving at hospitals and treatment centers with terrible burns; in the next stage, weeks (or sometimes years) later the hidden effects of radiation became apparent. People who survived the bombing were often regarded as unmarriageable and unemployable. Cancer ultimately killed more than one of Hersey’s survivors.

It sounds horrendous, and at the time it was enough to cause a worldwide sensation. The US government was engaged in a massive coverup to hide the aftereffects of the bomb, and Hersey partially lifted the cover. For an even more explicit and searing account, I recommend Charles Pellegrino’s book “To Hell and Back”.

George Guidall narrates. If you have a book of tragic gravity, his is definitely the voice you want. As short as it is, it's a powerful listen.

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Deserves to be widely read.

I recommend listening first to FALLOUT the story of the writing of this remarkable book

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Japan

Awful wasted a credit. Cover looked good, was interested not what I thought it to be. Don’t bother

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-15-21

great perspective

a really interesting view from 6 people who were there that day. loved that style of book writing.