Hiroshima covers the chaos that unfolds on August 6th 1945 from the perspective of six different civilians. John Hersey skips the details of the war to highlight their personal experience during the attack.
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- In a city of 240,000, nearly 100,000 people had been killed or doomed at one blow, 100,000 more were hurt.
- Staticians‘s calculated about 25% had died of direct burns from the bomb, about 50% from other injuries, and about 20% as a result of radiation affects.
- “That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT. It had more than 2,000 times the blast power of the British Gand Slam, which is the largest bomb ever use in the history of warfare.”
- 62,000 out of 90,000 buildings were destroyed, and 6,000 more damaged beyond repair. In the heart of the city, they found only five modern buildings that could be used again without major repairs.
- According to Japanese custom, when a person falls sick and goes to a hospital, one or more members of his family go and live there with him, to cook for him, bathe, massage, and read to him, and to offer incessant familial sympathy, without which a Japanese patient would be miserable.
- “Do not work primarily for money; do your duty to patients first and let the money follow; our life is short, we don’t live twice; the whirlwind will pick up the leaves and spin them, but then it will drop them and they will form a pile.”
One thought on “Hiroshima By John Hersey”
Do you think it offered a humanistic sympathetic approach towards the plight of the Japanese in what amounted to a crime against humanity?