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Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World
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Simon & Schuster 2020
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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020 New York Times bestselling author Lesley M.M. Blume reveals how one courageous American reporter uncovered one of the deadliest cover-ups of the 20th century—the true effects of the atom bomb—potentially saving millions of lives. Just days after the United States decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally. But even before the surrender, the US government and military had begun a secret propaganda and information suppression campaign to hide the devastating nature of these experimental weapons. The cover-up intensified as Occupation forces closed the atomic cities to Allied reporters, preventing leaks about the horrific long-term effects of radiation which would kill thousands during the months after the blast. For nearly a year the cover-up worked—until New Yorker journalist John Hersey got into Hiroshima and managed to report the truth to the world. As Hersey and his editors prepared his article for publication, they kept the story secret—even from most of their New Yorker colleagues. When the magazine published "Hiroshima" in August 1946, it became an instant global sensation, and inspired pervasive horror about the hellish new threat that America had unleashed. Since 1945, no nuclear weapons have ever been deployed in war partly because Hersey alerted the world to their true, devastating impact. This knowledge has remained among the greatest deterrents to using them since the end of World War II. Released on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Fallout is an engrossing detective story, as well as an important piece of hidden history that shows how one heroic scoop saved—and can still save—the world.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/04/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781982128555
ASIN:
B07Z45FSQG
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lesley M.M. Blume. (2020). Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World. Simon & Schuster.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lesley M.M. Blume. 2020. Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World. Simon & Schuster.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lesley M.M. Blume, Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World. Simon & Schuster, 2020.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lesley M.M. Blume. Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World. Simon & Schuster, 2020. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Lesley M.M. Blume is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and biographer. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Paris Review, among many other publications. Her last nonfiction book, Everybody Behaves Badly, was a New York Times bestseller.
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shortDescription
New York Times bestselling author Lesley M.M. Blume reveals how a courageous reporter uncovered one of greatest and deadliest cover-ups of the 20th century—the true effects of the atom bomb—potentially saving millions of lives.
In the days following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally. But even before the surrender, the US had begun a secret propaganda campaign to celebrate these weapons as the ultimate peacekeepers—hiding the true extent and nature of their devastation. The cover-up intensified as Americans closed the atomic cities to Allied reporters, preventing information from leaking about the horrific and lasting effects of radiation which would kill thousands of people during the months after the blast. For nearly a year the cover-up worked—until New Yorker journalist John Hersey got into Hiroshima and reported the truth to the world.

As Hersey and his editors...
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title
Fallout
fullDescription
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020

New York Times bestselling author Lesley M.M. Blume reveals how one courageous American reporter uncovered one of the deadliest cover-ups of the 20th century—the true effects of the atom bomb—potentially saving millions of lives.
Just days after the United States decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally. But even before the surrender, the US government and military had begun a secret propaganda and information suppression campaign to hide the devastating nature of these experimental weapons. The cover-up intensified as Occupation forces closed the atomic cities to Allied reporters, preventing leaks about the horrific long-term effects of radiation which would kill thousands during the months after the blast. For nearly a year the cover-up worked—until New Yorker journalist John Hersey got into Hiroshima and managed to report the truth to the world.

As Hersey and his editors prepared his article for publication, they kept the story secret—even from most of their New Yorker colleagues. When the magazine published "Hiroshima" in August 1946, it became an instant global sensation, and inspired pervasive horror about the hellish new threat that America had unleashed. Since 1945, no nuclear weapons have ever been deployed in war partly because Hersey alerted the world to their true, devastating impact. This knowledge has remained among the greatest deterrents to using them since the end of World War II.

Released on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Fallout is an engrossing detective story, as well as an important piece of hidden history that shows how one heroic scoop saved—and can still save—the world.
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 1, 2020
        Los Angeles-based journalist Blume uncovers the fascinating backstory to perhaps the most influential piece ever published by an American magazine: John Hersey's 1946 report on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. After the catastrophic August 1945 bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, justified by President Harry Truman and other officials as necessary to end World War II, the American public witnessed a barrage of government propaganda about how the attacks had been what Secretary of War Henry Stimson called " 'our least abhorrent choice' when it came to ending the war with Japan. In Stimson's telling, the nuclear option was once again depicted as humane." At the time, most American journalists tended to disseminate the propaganda; for at least a year after the bombings, few Americans--or global citizens--knew "what had actually transpired beneath those roiling mushroom clouds. Then, on Aug. 31, 1946, the New Yorker devoted its entire issue to a 30,000-word account by Hersey about the human toll in Hiroshima. About 42,000 Hiroshima residents had died quickly while countless more were suffering horrible aftereffects of radiation. The eventual number of fatalities is estimated at 280,000. Blume skillfully relates the biography of the still young but already well-known Hersey; his remarkable collaboration with New Yorker editors Harold Ross and William Shawn; and Hersey's inspiration for his decision to structure the article around six Hiroshima survivors. "It was simply a question of scale," writes the author. "Hersey would dial it down from God's eye level to a human vantage point." Blume's narrative explaining how Hersey gained access to Hiroshima, despite obstacles raised by the U.S. military, never flags in its drama. The author also provides endlessly interesting anecdotes about the aftermath of the publication of "Hiroshima," which eventually became a bestselling book. Hersey continued to be both lionized and criticized until his death in 1993, and his work has continued to inform debates about the appropriate use of nuclear weapons. Highly recommended as a work of historical excavation regarding a watershed publication.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2020

        In 1946, just one year after the devastating atomic bomb explosion over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Hersey wrote a series of articles on Hiroshima for The New Yorker. His thorough reporting featured interviews with survivors of the devastation, giving a detailed description of the fallout to the American public--Hersey's work countered information provided by the U.S. government about injuries sustained by Japanese citizens. The articles were later turned into a book, Hiroshima, also published in 1946. Here, best-selling author Blume (Everyone Behaves Badly) provides the backstory of how Hersey was able to gain access to the story, even after several other journalists had already visited Hiroshima. Hersey used little deception to obtain his interviews and even had the completed article approved by Leslie Groves, who oversaw the Manhattan Project. This is a straightforward account, including credible sources, though no original research was completed by Blume. VERDICT The publication date coincides with the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. While Blume doesn't shed new insight, readers looking for an overview of World War II or background on Hersey's Hiroshima will find this to be of interest. [See Prepub Alert, 2/4/20.]--Jason L. Steagall, Arapahoe Libs., Centennial, Colorado

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from June 22, 2020
        Journalist Blume (Everybody Behaves Badly) delivers a thrilling behind-the-scenes account of John Hersey’s seminal 1946 report on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In the months after Japan’s surrender, Hersey hatched a plan with New Yorker managing editor William Shawn to go into Hiroshima as a “Trojan horse reporter” and describe the bomb’s impact from the victims’ point of view. Blume balances her narrative between Hersey’s journalistic process and Shawn’s editorial decision-making, which culminated in convincing New Yorker founder Harold Ross to devote the entire Aug. 29, 1946, issue to the story. She also documents the dramatic impact of Hersey’s report, which was eventually published as a book, on the public perception of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and its continued resonance in the debate over nuclear arms. Hersey, she notes, devoted all the proceeds from the work to the American Red Cross and didn’t return to Japan for 40 years. Blume builds tension by expertly interweaving scenes at the New Yorker offices (where Ross and Shawn kept most staffers in the dark right up until publication), with Hersey’s journey into Japan and his search for survivors, and vividly captures a pre-television era when evidence of the nuclear fallout was suppressed by the U.S. government. This enthralling, fine-grained chronicle reveals what it takes to cut through “dangerously anesthetizing” statistics and speak truth to power. (Aug.)Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly referred to William Shawn as Wallace Shawn.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2020
        In the aftermath of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the American public lacked a clear understanding of the kind of destruction that had been performed in their name. Government leaders emphasized the military necessity of the bombings while downplaying the long-term effects of radiation exposure; and journalists fell in line, until the publication of John Hersey's groundbreaking article Hiroshima in The New Yorker. Journalist Blume (Everybody Behaves Badly, 2016) describes Hersey's tireless and compassionate efforts to tell the human stories behind the destruction in Hiroshima, ultimately producing a document that remains a staple of high school curricula to this day. Though the story of Fallout is rather slight?Hersey and his New Yorker editors faced little opposition and few consequences?it is engagingly told and painstakingly researched, with an unerring eye for the vivid detail that brings to life postwar society and the stakes of making the world understand the true horror of nuclear fallout. Blume's history will remind readers of the vital role the fourth estate plays in upholding American ideals.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

subtitle
The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World
popularity
3188
publisher
Simon & Schuster
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