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On August 9, 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, a small port city on Japan's southernmost island. An estimated 74,000 people died within the first five months, and another 75,000 were injured. Published on the 70th anniversary of the bombing, Nagasaki takes listeners from the morning of the bombing to the city today, telling the firsthand experiences of five survivors, all of whom were teenagers at the time of the devastation.
Susan Southard has spent years interviewing hibakusha ("bomb-affected people") and researching the physical, emotional, and social challenges of postatomic life. She weaves together dramatic eyewitness accounts with searing analysis of the policies of censorship and denial that colored much of what was reported about the bombing in both the United States and Japan.
A gripping narrative of human resilience, Nagasaki will help shape public discussion and debate over one of the most controversial wartime acts in history.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Gillian on 12-21-17
Truly, A Heartrending Horrorshow
I had to go back and reread, re listen to a whoooole lot of books on the Pacific war after I finished with Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War because it's a book that'll have you conflicted as all get out as to whether the use of atomic weaponry was necessary.
And that's because Nagasaki covers the lives of survivors, just before the blast and follows them through the nightmare of the aftermath. It's a brutal and devastating book, unflinching, unapologetically forthright and honest. Because those bombs caused untold, well, here there is some told, suffering.
Southard doesn't downplay Japanese atrocities of the war, neither does she play them up. The cruel and the brutal were just the way. Nor does she downplay the brainwashing of the Japanese citizenry who would've gladly used the utterly feudal and futile bamboo spear as a weapon against those who would invade Japan's shores. But the horrors that follow the detonation make it clear that, no matter your politics, what happened to these individuals? Nobody but the most brutal deserves.
Well-written over a span of twelve years, Nagasaki is a book that'll have you conflicted then, perhaps, resolute. It's a 12+ hour horrorshow that'll leave you shaken, gasping for breath.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful
By MILTON JONES on 08-23-15
This book was well written and educational. I have never read or been taught anything about possible survivors from the event. Most Americans wasn't aware that their were two bombs dropped on two different cities in Japan.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful