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On August 6, 1945, the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by the first ever use of an atomic bomb.

John Hersey, a reporter for the New Yorker, published a 31,000 word essay chronicling the lives of six survivors.

His famous quote, "The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose" provided a scathing response to the horrors of nuclear warfare.

John Hersey, the Writer Who Let Hiroshima Speak for Itself by Russell Shorto, The New Yorker (August 31, 2016)

How John Hershey's Hiroshima Revealed the Horror of the Bomb, BBC (August 22, 2016)

John Hersey
John Hersey

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 4.39.15 PM.pngJohn Hersey, Author of Hiroshima, Is Dead at 78, The New York Times (March 25, 1993#

For more see, John Hersey: New Journalism



Hiroshima looking northwest. Frame buildings recently erected, 1945
Hiroshima looking northwest. Frame buildings recently erected, 1945

Historical Connections

See United States History II.16 and World History II.27

Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945 from Atomic Heritage Foundation

A Photo Essay on the Bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki from Modern American Poetry