"What has kept the world safe from the bomb since 1945 has not been deterrence, in the sense of fear of specific weapons, so much as it's been memory. The memory of what happened at Hiroshima." - John Hersey
Hiroshima by John Hersey is simply summarized as the story of the atomic bomb survivors. Hiroshima follows the story of six of the survivors and the impact of the bomb on their lives. Hersey uses a style of New Journalism - using fiction writing techniques to recount true stories. This allows for readers to really understand the horrific consequences of war and of the nuclear bomb; while the book is non-fiction it focuses on the stories of ordinary people instead of data and statistic.
There is not much to add to this review, it is simply a truly poignant account of ordinary people affected by the decisions of power hungry governments. The book is a fantastic way to gather information on the context and impacts of the bomb. Hiroshima is sad and it's tragic, but it's real life. I (hopefully) will never understand the full effect of the bomb, but this book was able to open my previously ignorant eyes. I had always thought of the atomic bomb as being a completely horrible and unnecessary weapon, but it wasn't until I connected with the characters Hiroshima and saw their struggles that I realized the meaning that horrible and tragic can really take. I knew the facts on what the bomb is capable of, of the number of casualties, their mutations, the amount of town and buildings ruined, but no teacher had been able to pass on the impact of the bomb as clearly and as moving.