John Hersey's "Hiroshima" at 70
Seventy years ago today, the entire new issue of The New Yorker was, without prior warning, taken up by a single article. Hiroshima was a sensation, with issues selling out almost immediately. Later, it sold over three million copies in book form.
The New Yorker is making this masterpiece of journalism available for free on its website for some amount of time (I don't know how long). If you don't mind reading on a screen, this is perhaps the best piece of nonfiction journalism ever, and is certainly a founding text of the "New Journalism" movement.
Calm, unflinching, and attuned solely to the human experience--not political posturing or retrospective debate--this is a harrowing and immensely moving story that makes us hesitate to consider the million small choices we make each day that, for several "lucky" survivors became the difference between life and death.
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