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Hiroshima

de John Hersey

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1,937336,881 (4.14)170
On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb destroyed the city of Hiroshima, Japan. In this book, Hersey reveals what happened that day. Told through the memories of the six survivors, it is a timeless, powerful and compassionate document.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 33 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Nieuwe editie met epiloog waarin het leven van de 6 slachtoffers na de oorlog beschreven wordt. ( )
  joucy | Jan 9, 2022 |
A book that should be read. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the Second World War. This book is about the experience of six survivors of Hiroshima. It describes their lives from before the explosion until one year later. All were diminished in quality. The stories tell of unimaginable conditions forced upon people unprepared for them. And the author raises questions about the ethics of nuclear war. I pray that this never happens again. ( )
  TomMcGreevy | Sep 11, 2021 |
After reading [b:Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World|52764193|Fallout The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World|Lesley M.M. Blume|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1576421390l/52764193._SY75_.jpg|73727728], I had to go back and read the book that it talked about. Somehow, I'd missed this book in all my years of reading.

I'm glad I corrected that.

This is a horrible book, but there's an undercurrent of tenaciousness and hope that carries it. There's so many enlightening, incredibly human moments, that make the book more bearable. And while there's not a lot of direct finger pointing at Americans, there is an incredible disparity between the reactions of those who survived the Hiroshima bombing, and those who were responsible for it.

Fantastic, important book. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
The power of this short book grows out of the simple virtues of honest reporting and clear writing. Hersey does not sensationalize. He traveled, as an American, to Hiroshima within a year of the blast. To get a handle on an unprecedented event with an immense scale, the author focused on six survivors; most of the text recounts their experiences: what they saw, what they felt, what they thought. He constructs the narrative with skill, interweaving each of these six strands. In the course of the book, he brings in some of the larger picture, such as the number of the dead. Only at the end does he raise the topic of the morality of the act; even here, he reports what his six interviewees think.
In addition to the inherent emotional effect of the tale, there was an added poignancy for me. My copy is a first edition, inherited from my father, who bought it when it came out, shortly after his discharge. When the bomb was detonated, he was on Okinawa and knew that, just as when that island was taken, he would be in the first wave sent ashore when the invasion of the home islands began. The fateful decision to use this bomb, and a second one a few days later at Nagasaki, was taken on the basis of the number of likely casualties, American and Japanese, that such an invasion would bring. Which of these alternatives was the lesser evil is a question that can probably never be decided to the satisfaction of all. The only way to reframe it, as far as I can see, would be to ask whether the demand for unconditional surrender, an appropriate demand in the case of Nazi Germany, was as necessary in the case of Japan, and if this would have obviated the need to choose between invasion and the nuclear option. But of course, we can never know how the next decades would have unfolded if that had been tried. As I write, more than seventy years later, the United States remains the only power to employ an atomic weapon. It would be nice to be able to believe none will ever again be detonated. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
In the West our cultural products tend to focus disproportionately on our own tragedies. Our great battles from World War Two and the Holocaust have a special place. Canadians are periodically offered new treatments on Vimy, the Somme etc. All this is right and good. National imaginaries must be constructed. We must remember for never again to have meaning. And so while we recognise the Armenian genocide, Rwanda, Congo, colonialism etc, we don't hold them up with great pride of place in constant cultural reproduction and examination. And those dark-stained moments that shame the Western conscience tend to be examined even less.

So it was refreshing to read this treatment of the horror of the first atomic bomb attack. This little book has pride of place on the matter in English language bookshops. It is incredibly moving. But I only gave it four stars instead of five because there is something missing. What is it?

Surely so soon after the war, a Japanese perspective on Hiroshima would have been too much for The New Yorker to print. So Hershey takes a clinical journalistic approach. Without frills or melodrama. Without excessive personalisation. By preparing his treatment of the subject in such a way one assumes he is protecting himself from possible accusations of anti-American bias. Just the facts. A plain recounting. It reads like a case report for a judicial enquiry.

So moving as it is, it is because the plain facts are so moving. And this, of course, would easily serve as a narrative defence - that the facts are moving enough on their own, that they need no embellishment, etc. Thus avoiding completely the need to acknowledge that Hiroshima has been treated differently for not being anglo-saxon. The author even manages to cut himself out of the script, letting the subjects voices speak for themselves, we can imagine the argument. And yet they are not speaking for themselves. They are speaking through John Hersey's filter.

One wonders what the story could have read like if the author had personalised more, made more of a story, dramatise more; As if the victims were Westerners and those who launched the bomb from afar.

There is something limiting about this clinical factual reading. As compassionate and brave as Hersey is being, and this is perceived by his clinical approach, one would not need to be so consciously compassionate and brave if the victims were anglo-saxons.

This is fantastic gateway into Hiroshima, and yet it is as if there is no more archive. This book composes the entirety of the Western archive on Hiroshima. It seems strange it is so featured in out bookshops, but never alongside a Japanese voice. How many decades later I find it hard to believe there is no Japanese accessible personal voice on Hiroshima available in translation?

As good as Hersey is. We ought to be able to do better still. ( )
  GeorgeHunter | Sep 13, 2020 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (17 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
John Herseyautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Asner, EdwardNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Belmont, GeorgesTraductionautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Biggs, GeoffreyAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Guidall, GeorgeNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Haas, PascaleTraductionautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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At exactly fifteen minutes past eight in the morning, on August 6, 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Miss Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning her head to speak to the girl at the next desk.
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Please distinguish between John Hersey's original Work, Hiroshima (1946), and his "New Edition With a Final Chapter Written Forty Years After the Explosion" (1985).
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On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb destroyed the city of Hiroshima, Japan. In this book, Hersey reveals what happened that day. Told through the memories of the six survivors, it is a timeless, powerful and compassionate document.

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