Books and Movies Reviews

Hiroshima

The novel that I chose to do my report on is Hiroshima, by John Hersey.I chose this book because I have a strong interest in Japanese and wartime events.Ifirst came across this book in Collection 18 of my American Literature book.This Collection, titled “The Wages of War,” features thefirst chapter of the book.When this book was written in 1946, American literature was going through major changes. Having recently escaped the monotony of modernism, it moved into the lively, personal writings of the Beat style, literary journalism, and postmodernism. The post WWII era of literature was highlighted by many serious works by writers looking for an outlet for what seemed to be a world of merciless killing and apathy.On this backdrop were written such famous literature as Catch-22, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner, and perhaps most influential of all, Hiroshima. When this book was released, the great scientist Albert Einstein ordered a thousand copies, The New Yorker ran an entire issue devoted to it, including the entire text of it, and the American Broadcasting Company had it read aloud on its radio stations nationwide.The Book-of-the-Month Club even distributed free copies because they said no book “could be of more importance at this moment to the human race.” It was almost difficult for me to review a book about which the New York Times wrote “Nothing that can be said about this book can equal what the book has to say.It speaks for itself, and in an unforgettable way, for humanity.”But I did, and here it is.
Modern war, waged with highly sophisticated weaponry, is often described in numerical terms; how many missiles fired, how many targets annihilated, how many people killed.In the face of such abstraction, writers force us to confront the personal element in war.By telling us about the details of other people’s lives, writers remind us that, even in war, we are all – friend and foe – human beingsfirst an…

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