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ON Monday, August 6th, 1945, a new era in human history opened. After years of intensive research and experiment, conducted in their later stages mainly in America, by scientists of many nationalities, Japanese among them, the forces which hold together the constituent particles of the atom had at last been harnessed to mans use: and on that day man used them. By a decision of the American military authorities, made, it is said, in defiance of the protests of many of the scientists who had worked on the project, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. As a direct result, some 60,000 Japanese men, women and children were killed, and 100,000 injured; and almost the whole of a great seaport, a city of 250,000 people was destroyed by blast or fire. As an indirect result, a few days later, Japan acknowledged defeat, and the Second World War came to an end.
For many months little exact and reliable news about the details of the destruction wrought by the first atomic bomb reached Western readers. Millions of words were written, in Europe and America, explaining the marvellous new powers that science had placed in mens hands; describing the researches and experiments that had led up to this greatest of all disclosures of Natures secrets: discussing the problems for mans future which the new weapon raised. Argument waxed furious as to the ethics of the bomb is just as important today. The author JOHN HERSEY was born in Tientsin, China, on June 17, 1914, the son of a Y.M.C.A. worker engaged on famine relief. He was taken to the United States when ten years old, where he attended Hotchkiss School, and later Yale, where he was an active and versatile undergraduate, and assistant Editor of the Universitys daily paper. He graduated in 1936, subsequently doing a years post-graduate work in England at Clare College, Cambridge.
This book measures 7 x 4.5 inches, and has 120 pages. The condition of the book is generally good, with no loose pages. The spine is good with no splits or cracks, no creases from opening. The binding is firm, with sound hinges. Slightly discoloured with age, its pages are otherwise clean, with no margin notes or underlining. The covers have slight wear, mostly to the spine, but no bumped corners or creases.