Book Review: Hiroshima Nagasaki

Hiroshima Nagasaki: The Real Story of the Atomic Bombings and Their Aftermath
By Paul Ham

I read Hiroshima Nagasaki by Paul Ham in June 2016

In August 1945, two nuclear bombs, Little Boy and Fat Man, was dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Never before and never after has a nuclear bomb been used in a war.

The A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima

The A-bomb dome in Hiroshima. Left as it was after the bombing.

Hiroshima Nagasaki tells the story of these two bombings. How the bombs were invented and constructed, how they were delivered, the destruction they created, as well as all the politicking going on among the leaders of the different countries.

The book is based on extensive research, and gives a clear account of the events leading up to the bombing, the bombing itself as well as the aftermath.

It is well written and at times hard to put down. I found this book very informative.

The destruction in Hiroshima

The bomb destroyed most buildings in Hiroshima.

I only wish that there would be more focus on the civilians living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The book is very detailed when it comes to how the bomb was conceived and made, as well as on the political games and power struggles behind the decision to bomb the two cities. I wish there would be nore about how the populace of Hiroshima and Nagasaki fared, not only the anecdotes retold in the book. A general overview of the situation among civilians, instead of just some anecdotes focusing on a few individuals would be much better I think. But I guess that was not the focus of this book, rather the power struggled behind the scenes.

All in all, Hiroshima Nagasaki does a good job of telling the story of the nuclear bombing of Japan. The author is well informed and writes in a way that captures the reader. In the end he tried to see whether the bombing was justified or not. Did it end the war or where there other factors in play? The author’s conclusion here might be considered a bit controversial, without revealing too much.

Hiroshima Nagasaki by Paul Ham

Hiroshima Nagasaki

If interested in the Second World War or Japanese history, this book should be read. It is detailed, well written and questions some of the historical ‘truths’ about the atomic bombings.

I love reading about both history and Japan. If you know any good books on the subjects, please share.

For more books about Japan check out my Books From Japan Page

For mor books see my book reviews page

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Hiroshima Nagasaki

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