This month marks the 75th anniversary of the first wartime use of a nuclear weapon – the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. While the horrors of the explosion and radiation from the bomb are now widely acknowledged, they were far less known in the months after the attack. American GIs serving in the occupation force in Japan would regularly visit Hiroshima to pick up atomic souvenirs from the rubble to take home.
The scale of the destruction and suffering was eventually told in the book “Hiroshima” by journalist John Hersey, which became an international best-seller. What many don’t know is that Hersey’s book was originally a lengthy article that took up an entire issue of The New Yorker magazine a year after the bombing. It became one of the most influential pieces of journalism ever written.
Our guest today, writer Lesley Blume, has a new book which tells the story of Hersey’s quest to bring the real story of Hiroshima to the American public and the impact it had on the world’s understanding of nuclear weapons. Lesley Blume is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author and biographer. She spoke to me from her home office via an Internet connection about her new book “Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-Up And The Reporter Who Revealed It To The World.”