When the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945, killing 100,000 men, women and children, it was the beginning of a terrifying new episode in human history. Written only a year after the disaster, John Hersey brought the event vividly alive with this heart-rending account of six men and women who survived despite all the odds. He added a further chapter when, forty years later, he returned to Hiroshima to discover how the same six people had struggled to cope with catastrophe and with often crippling disease. The result is a devastating picture of the long-term effects of one very small bomb.
John Hersey was born in Tientsin, China, in 1914, and lived there until 1925, when his family returned to the United States. He studied at Yale and Clare College, Cambridge, served for a time as Sinclair Lewis's secretary, and then worked for several years as a journalist. He published seventeen works of fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize winning A Bell for Adano. Besides Hiroshima which was first published in 1946, he wrote six books of essays and reportage. He died in 1993.