Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima

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9780060742850: Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima

A riveting, minute-by-minute account of the momentous event that changed our world forever

On a quiet Monday morning in August 1945, a five-ton bomb—dubbed Little Boy by its creators—was dropped from an American plane onto the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On that day, a firestorm of previously unimagined power was unleashed on a vibrant metropolis of 300,000 people, leaving one third of its population dead, its buildings and landmarks incinerated. It was the terrifying dawn of the Atomic Age, spawning decades of paranoia, mistrust, and a widespread and very real fear of the potential annihilation of the human race.

Author Stephen Walker brilliantly re-creates the three terrible weeks leading up to the wartime detonation of the atomic bomb—from the first successful test in the New Mexico desert to the cataclysm and its aftermath—presenting the story through the eyes of pilots, scientists, civilian victims, and world leaders who stood at the center of earth-shattering drama. It is a startling, moving, frightening, and remarkable portrait of an extraordinary event—a shockwave whose repercussions can be felt to this very day.

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About the Author:

Stephen Walker directed the award-winning feature film Prisoners in Time (starring John Hurt) and wrote and directed an Emmy Award–winning BBC documentary on the bombing of Hiroshima. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

From The Washington Post:

Those who revere John Hersey's Hiroshima as a classic piece of reporting about an act unprecedented in human history -- the instantaneous annihilation of tens of thousands of civilians by human agency -- may approach a new book on the subject with lowered expectations. But in Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima (HarperCollins, $26.95), Stephen Walker has painted on a larger canvas, beginning this tale of both ghastly destruction and a gamble to end a protracted war by visiting the site in the New Mexico desert where the atomic bomb was first tested. From then on, he switches back and forth from the United States to the doomed Japanese city, from the Imperial Palace in Tokyo to the so-called "Little White House" near Potsdam, Germany, where President Harry Truman got a briefing on the new weapon's progress in late July 1945.

In Hiroshima, Walker zeroes in on the experience of a soldier named Toshiaki Tanaka. Separated from his wife and child by his military duties when the bomb fell, Tanaka went searching for them the next day but knew there was no hope once he found a neighbor, recognizable only by a telltale belt buckle he had worn. Then Tanaka saw "two figures, like charcoal sticks, fused together on the ground, facing what was once the doorway [to the family-owned liquor store]. One of the figures was much smaller than the other, a tiny, shapeless bundle pressed against the other's back, as if somehow clinging to it. He knew immediately this was his wife and baby daughter.

"He stood perfectly still, staring at them. Despite the terrible burns their bones stood out. They were extraordinarily white. He could not understand how it was possible they were so white. He bent down beside them. Then he picked up the bones, placing them one by one in his handkerchief. . . . He walked out into the street that no longer existed and took the bones of his wife and child all the way back to the barracks in Ujina. There he placed them, still in their handkerchief, on a shelf above his bed in his quarters. It was the only home he had left."

Countdown to Hiroshima
Copyright 2005, The Washington Post Co. All Rights Reserved.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A riveting, minute-by-minute account of the momentous event that changed our world forever On a quiet Monday morning in August 1945, a five-ton bomb--dubbed Little Boy by its creators--was dropped from an American plane onto the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On that day, a firestorm of previously unimagined power was unleashed on a vibrant metropolis of 300,000 people, leaving one third of its population dead, its buildings and landmarks incinerated. It was the terrifying dawn of the Atomic Age, spawning decades of paranoia, mistrust, and a widespread and very real fear of the potential annihilation of the human race. Author Stephen Walker brilliantly re-creates the three terrible weeks leading up to the wartime detonation of the atomic bomb--from the first successful test in the New Mexico desert to the cataclysm and its aftermath--presenting the story through the eyes of pilots, scientists, civilian victims, and world leaders who stood at the center of earth-shattering drama. It is a startling, moving, frightening, and remarkable portrait of an extraordinary event--a shockwave whose repercussions can be felt to this very day. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060742850

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A riveting, minute-by-minute account of the momentous event that changed our world forever On a quiet Monday morning in August 1945, a five-ton bomb--dubbed Little Boy by its creators--was dropped from an American plane onto the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On that day, a firestorm of previously unimagined power was unleashed on a vibrant metropolis of 300,000 people, leaving one third of its population dead, its buildings and landmarks incinerated. It was the terrifying dawn of the Atomic Age, spawning decades of paranoia, mistrust, and a widespread and very real fear of the potential annihilation of the human race. Author Stephen Walker brilliantly re-creates the three terrible weeks leading up to the wartime detonation of the atomic bomb--from the first successful test in the New Mexico desert to the cataclysm and its aftermath--presenting the story through the eyes of pilots, scientists, civilian victims, and world leaders who stood at the center of earth-shattering drama. It is a startling, moving, frightening, and remarkable portrait of an extraordinary event--a shockwave whose repercussions can be felt to this very day. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060742850

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A riveting, minute-by-minute account of the momentous event that changed our world forever On a quiet Monday morning in August 1945, a five-ton bomb--dubbed Little Boy by its creators--was dropped from an American plane onto the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On that day, a firestorm of previously unimagined power was unleashed on a vibrant metropolis of 300,000 people, leaving one third of its population dead, its buildings and landmarks incinerated. It was the terrifying dawn of the Atomic Age, spawning decades of paranoia, mistrust, and a widespread and very real fear of the potential annihilation of the human race. Author Stephen Walker brilliantly re-creates the three terrible weeks leading up to the wartime detonation of the atomic bomb--from the first successful test in the New Mexico desert to the cataclysm and its aftermath--presenting the story through the eyes of pilots, scientists, civilian victims, and world leaders who stood at the center of earth-shattering drama. It is a startling, moving, frightening, and remarkable portrait of an extraordinary event--a shockwave whose repercussions can be felt to this very day. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780060742850

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