"Then a tremendous flash of light cut across the sky. Tanimoto has a distinct recollection that it traveled from east to west, from the city toward the hills. It seemed like a sheet of sun. John Hersey, from Hiroshima, p8.
On August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. On that day the United States of America detonated an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. This was something a little bigger then an ordinary bomb yet it could do so much more destruction. It could rip down houses, walls like a wrecking ball. In Hiroshima this atomic bomb killed 100,000 people mostly civilians and in Nagasaki three days later it killed 40,000 people. The Japanese government surrendered. The rest of the world rejoiced as the most destructive war in the history of mankind came to an end. Over the course of the next forty years, these two bombings, and the nuclear arms race that followed them would, come to have a direct or indirect effect on almost every man, woman and child on this earth, including the people in the United States. The atomic bomb would penetrate every fabric of American existence, from our politics to our educational system, our industry and our art. Historians have gone so far as to call this the atomic age for the way it has shaped and guided world politics, relations, and culture. .
After the war, the first real piece of literature about the bombings came in 1946. The work Hiroshima, by John Hersey, first appeared as a long article in the New Yorker, then shortly after in book form. This book is a non-fiction account of the bombing of Hiroshima and the immediate aftermath. It is told from a point of view of six hibakussha's, survivors of the atomic blast. In four chapters he traces how these people survived the blast and what they did in following weeks and months to pull their lives together and save their families.
The book takes on a tone of sympathy and survival that these people were lucky enough to survive the blast.