by John Hersey

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This account of the bombing of Hiroshima is told from the perspective of six survivors. Almost four decades after the original publication of the book, John Hersey went back to Hiroshima in search of the people whose stories he had told. His account of what he discovered about them is now the final chapter of Hiroshima.

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View and print a PDF version of this literature guide.

Enrichment Activities
Internet Resources
Books by John Hersey

Enrichment Activities

  • The Controversy Over Nuclear Weapons
    Students consider their thoughts about the nuclear controversy while completing this question and answer sheet.

  • International Day of Peace
    Students use an online resource to learn about International Peace Day, celebrated in Hiroshima every August 6 to memorialize the children who died from the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.

  • Synopsis, Ideas, and Writing Connections
    Challenge students with discussion concepts and creative writing assignments.

  • World War II Timeline
    From 1939 to the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, this timeline covers the events of WWII.

Internet Resources

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima
Grade Levels: Middle, Secondary
Published in the War Times Journal, this account of the 1945 nuclear bombing was written by a Catholic priest.

Hiroshima Photo Gallery
Grade Levels: Middle, Secondary
The complete "Hiroshima" work of Japanese photographer Hiromi Tsuchida.

Hiroshima Survivor Testimonials
Grade Levels: Middle, Secondary
Fifteen eyewitness accounts of the bombing of Hiroshima.

Hiroshima: Was It Necessary?
Grade Levels: Middle, Secondary
Articles and quotes that explore the premise that the atomic bombings of Japan were probably not necessary.

John Hersey Biography
Grade Levels: Middle, Secondary
A complete description of the life of this Pulitzer-Prize-winning author.

Books by John Hersey

Algiers Motel Incident
Aspects of the Presidency
A Bell for Adano
The Call: An American Missionary in China
The Child Buyer
Fling and Other Stories
Here to Stay
Into the Valley: A Skirmish of the Marines
Key West Tales
Life Sketches
My Petition for More Space
Ralph Ellison: A Collection of Critical Essays
A Single Pebble
The Wall
White Lotus
Writer's Craft

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