Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hiroshima by John Hersey

"Hiroshima" was originally an article in the August 31, 1946 issue of New Yorker Magazine, published about one year after the atomic bomb was dropped. The entire issue was devoted to this article, rather than serialized, which was a first. It was read on the radio and discussed widely in newspapers. I had to double check and study the cover for a while before I could finally accept that this was indeed the issue it was published in; the artwork seems so inappropriate for the topic. (If you click on the image you'll get a larger view). Maybe someone knows the story on that?

Searching on the internet, I found this drawing by Yoko Suga, who was 14 when the bomb fell, 43 when she drew the picture. Compare and contrast the two. Which would you choose, if you could change the cover?

I think everyone should read this detailed account of six individuals who survived the horrors of August 6, 1945. Regardless of your opinion on whether the United States made the right decision or not in dropping the A-bomb, we should always be aware of the individual lives that war affects, or else we risk losing our humanity.


  1. I'm so glad you commented on my blog so I could find my way to your blog. I so totally relate to what you wrote in your sidebar. I often feel unprepared to review a book with any intelligence and often use the word awesome! Not an English major, either.

    Also like your tag line - Throwing life out of balance one book at a time. I think that's what new insight & knowledge does, it interrupts our thinking, shifts our paradigm. I think I am going to enjoy your blog immensely.

    As to this post - I'm interested in reading this article, in fact the whole issue. I read a book written by an American soldier that had quite an impact on my thinking about the bomb. It's called Folding Paper Cranes: An Atomic Memoir by Leonard Bird. You can find my review HERE.

    That is interesting that they chose such a pleasant, ordinary day for the cover of that particular issue. Hope you get someone to answer that question.

  2. Booklogged, Thanks for the recommendation and link to the review. It definitely sounds like a must read!

  3. Until the last few years, the New Yorker's cover didn't reflect the contents at all. (It still usually doesn't but it does sometimes now, for special issues.)

    You can find more information about that issue at: and

  4. Steven,
    Thanks for the link! The article answered that and many other questions I had.

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