Hiroshima Nagasaki

Front Cover
HarperCollins Publishers, 2011 - Atomic bomb - 629 pages
With the world today on the brink of nuclear war- and Japan again in the nuclear firing line - award-winning author Paul Hamdescribes what happened last time an atomic bomb fell on two cities.

The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed more than 100,000 instantly, mostly women, children and the elderly. Many hundreds of thousands more succumbed to their horrific injuries later, or slowly perished of radiation-related sickness. Yet the bombs were 'our least abhorrent choice', American leaders claimed at the time - and still today most people believe they ended the Pacific War and saved millions of American and Japanese lives. Ham challenges this view, arguing that the bombings, when Japan was on its knees, were the culmination of a strategic Allied air war on enemy civilians that began in Germany and had till then exacted its most horrific death tolls in Dresden and Tokyo.

The war in Europe may have ended but it continued in the Pacific against a regime still looking to save face. Ham describes the political manoeuvring and the scientific race to build the new atomic weapon. He also gives powerful witness to its destruction through the eyes of eighty survivors, from 12-year-olds forced to work in war factories to wives and children who faced it alone, reminding us that these two cities were full of ordinary people who suddenly, out of a clear blue summer's sky, felt the sun fall on their heads.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sullywriter - LibraryThing

This is the best book on the subject I've read yet, a superbly researched and absorbing narrative. I particularly like how Ham alternates between the American and Japanese perspectives. He effectively ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Michael_Godfrey - www.librarything.com

I purchased Ham’s tome because I have long held a genuine sense that I really did not have my head around the complexities of the Japanese bombing. Coming from my perspective, driven not least by ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Paul Ham is an Australian historian, journalist and author, He was born in Sydney, Australia in 1960. He earned his master's degree in economic history from the London School of Economics. He began working for the London Sunday Times in 1998 as their Australia correspondent. He is the author of Kokoda (2004), Vietnam: The Australian War (2007), Hiroshima Nagasaki (2011), Sandakan: The Untold Story of the Sandakan Death Marches (2012), 1914: The Year the World Ended (2013), and Passchendaele: Requiem for Doomed Youth (2017). He won the Queensland Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2014 for his work, 1914: The Year the World Ended. He also received the 2018 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Douglas Stewart Prize for Nonfiction for Passchendaele: Requiem for Doomed Youth. His other work includes 1913, The Target Committee, and Honey, We Forgot the Kids (co-authored with psychotherapist Bernie Brown).

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