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Extended Audio Sample Hiroshima, by John Hersey Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (17,548 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Hersey Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A journalistic masterpiece. John Hersey transports us back to the streets of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945—the day the city was destroyed by the first atomic bomb. Told through the memories of six survivors, Hiroshima is a timeless, powerful classic that will awaken your heart and your compassion. In this new edition, Hersey returns to Hiroshima to find the survivors—and to tell their fates in an eloquent and moving final chapter. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Nothing can be said about this book that can equal what the book has to say. It speaks for itself, and in an unforgettable way, for humanity.”

    New York Times

  • “To this day nothing tells better the horror of Hiroshima…One of the most powerful writers of modern times.”

    Washington Post

  • “Everyone able to read should read it.”

    Saturday Review of Literature

  • “Whether you believe the bomb made the difference in the war or that it should never have been dropped, Hiroshima is a must-read for all of us who live in the shadow of armed conflict.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “One of the most important books to come out of World War II…Compelling, unforgettable, and more timely than ever, this is absolutely essential.”

    Library Journal

  • “Brilliant…In its clean, classic restraint, its simplicity, its severity by implication, this is an artistic achievement as well as a threat to this still unsettled world…What they saw, what they felt what—through satiety of terror and suffering—they did not feel, what they had and what they lost, is all told here. No one can remain unconcerned or unmoved. Hersey has risen to the heights of impartial recording that makes this a human document transcending propaganda.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Amy | 2/20/2014

    " This book was definitely part of historical journalism and made famous for it, but I wasn't personally ecstatic about it. It was honest about the personal accounts of survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima, yet I found myself wandering mentally while reading it on multiple occasions. Possibly the reason for this was because I felt compelled to do so for my student (who had to read this for his history class), but I felt like the writing was somewhat dry and lacking emotion in parts, especially since this would be such an emotionally-charged subject. Writing in the journalistic style probably led to this lack of emotional involvement, as they are focused on telling the story and not necessarily how the story should make you feel. I do recommend it as an interesting historical account of the bombing incident and its aftermath, as John Hersey actually returned to Japan 40 years after the incident and tracked down his original subjects in order to track how the bomb affect the lives of these individuals. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Tony | 2/20/2014

    " "Hiroshima" is such a captivating book reflecting all the horrible events during World War 2. Although I usually don't like reading history books, something about this book made me pick it up. It's disturbing events are serious that sometimes I feel as if I was living during that time period. John Hersey made this book even more universal by taking the accounts of what other people said. This book is just one of the few World War 2 books that uses the drama of the explosion taken from the people who have lived during the time period. It also explained how deadly the effect a bomb set of can cause. Bombs are deadly whether they are fission bombs or fusion bombs. Both are dangerous but fusion bombs consist of Hydrogens combined together which can be ten times more damaging then fission bombs. Nevertheless the bomb was dropped whether viewers liked it or not and that changed the world forever. This difference make some Americans feel ashamed that they did so much damage without meaning to. I liked how this book opens up peoples' eyes into seeing the different perspectives of the people involved during this time period. This book clearly demonstrates how Gandhi's saying of "Nonviolence will lead to victory". Sometimes people and groups of people just have to comprehend each others opinions, ideas and thoughts about what actions should be taken. If organizations are created this way, why do people seldom choose the path of violence? Violence will only inflict damage and hurt people. Even after people die, the next generation will come out and seek revenge creating a cycle that is endless. Nonviolence on the other hand helps create and influence peace between two groups. I recommend this book to anyone to see the power the governments and authorities have over the people and also to view the consequences of taking a wrong turn. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by K.D. Oliveros | 2/16/2014

    " Very informative! I was not yet born (of course) when the bombing in Hiroshima happened and what I read so far are cold fact history books. In this novel, John Hersey effectively used 6 characters to describe without any bias what happened in Hiroshima the day before the bombing up to a year after. I read most parts while waiting for my family roaming around Fort Santiago one Sunday afternoon and the surrounding was perfect! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Margaret | 2/11/2014

    " This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is disturbing and often gruesome, but it is a history we should know, even in the gut. If you have never read it, do! "

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About the Author
Author John Hersey

John Hersey (1914–1993), a prolific and acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, won a Pulitzer Prize for A Bell for Adano. Yet throughout his life, he was most respected for Hiroshima. According to the New Yorker, “[It] remains his crowning achievement. Though it is imbued with a profound moral sense, it does not preach. It does not hector. It simply tells. The power of it, and of its author, is in the reporting.”