The Hiroshima cover-up and the reporter who revealed it to the world
By Lesley Blume
Published by Scribe. Click here for details.
RRP $35.00 in paperback | ISBN: 9781925713930
On 6 August 1945, the USA dropped a nearly 10,000 pound atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 280,000 people, either directly or by year’s end as a result of terrible injuries.
‘It was a massacre of biblical proportions’, writes author Lesley Blume, who, seventy-five years on has written this book of the backstory of how New Yorker journalist John Hersey managed to piece together the full horror story twelve months after the events that changed warfare forever.
Until Hersey’s revelations to which the New Yorker devoted its entire issue on 31 August 1946, little was publicly known of the true extent and nature of the devastation the bombs – a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on 9 August 1945 – had caused.
The fallout was immediate.
As Blume writes, the ‘… U.S. government – victor over fascism and tyranny – suddenly had a serious post-“Hiroshima” image problem. The transition from global saviour to genocidal superpower was an unwelcome reversal.’
Official rebuttals were based on the idea of the bombs being ‘the least abhorrent choice’ to end the war and included projections of over a million casualties in American forces alone if the war persisted, a defence that seems to have long persisted in public consciousness.
VERDICT: An engrossing book that offers us all the chance to learn the lessons from one of history’s terrible tragedies.
Follow this link to read an extensive review in The Washington Post.