Japan 1945. In one of the defining moments of the twentieth century, more than 100,000 people were killed instantly by two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by US Air Force B29s. Hundreds of thousands more succumbed to their horrific injuries, or slowly perished of radiation-related sickness.
Hiroshima Nagasaki tells the story of the tragedy through the eyes of the survivors, from the twelve-year-olds forced to work in war factories to the wives and children who faced it alone. Through their harrowing personal testimonies, we are reminded that these were ordinary people, given no warning and no chance to escape the horror.
American leaders claimed that the bombings were 'our least abhorrent choice' and fell strictly on 'military targets'. Even today, most people believe they ended the Pacific War and saved millions of American and Japanese lives. Hiroshima Nagasaki challenges this deep-set perception, revealing that the atomic bombings were the final crippling blow to the Japanese in a stratgic air war waged primarily against civilians.
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[A] vivid, comprehensive and quietly furious account...Paul Ham brings new tools to the job, unearthing fresh evidence of a deeply disturbing sort. He has a magpie eye for the telling detail - The Times
We are in Paul Ham's debt for showing that it is unjustifiable to consider ever again dropping an atomic bomb...Comprehensive and horrifying - Literary Review
Provocative and challenging, Paul Ham's book strips away the cosy myth that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the Second World War...A voice that is both vigorous and passionate - Daily Express
Controversial...Gives an eye-witness picture that leaves Dante's Inferno looking pale...Well documented and stringently argued - Daily Mail
With more detail than the average text book yet written in a way that pulls you in ... this is essential for anyone remotely interested in our history - Sydney Sunday Telegraph
THE epic sweep of this book belies its title. Paul Ham's history of the A-bomb combines extensive research with a sure sense of drama. He uses narrative focus to brilliant effect, giving equal clarity to the machinations of the Big Three at Yalta as to a child's lunch box at Hiroshima. Ham humanises the wrangling and power plays of the war's final year, casting personality and strategy as equals. - The Age
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About the Author
Paul Ham is the author of the highly acclaimed Kokoda (HarperCollins, 2004) and is the Australia correspondent of the London Sunday Times.
He was born and educated in Australia and lives in Sydney, having spent several years working in Britain as a journalist and publisher.