Why I Survived the A-Bomb

Akira Kohchi, Costa Mesa: Institute for Historical Review 1986

By Brian Burch (reviewer)

For me the human perspective of the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki can be best appreciated by contemplating numbers: 214, 096 killed by one bomb dropped on August 6, 1945. Why I survived the A-Bomb is a personal account of the bombing of Hiroshima.

By the end of the hook I had a picture of Kohchi's relationship with his father, the shock he had upon seeing the survivors of the attack, and an interesting picture of the early post-war period and the U.S. relationship with occupied Japan. Statistics, like the facts that of Hiroshima's 298 registered physicians, 60 were killed instantly and 2 10 mortally wounded. Of 1,780 nurses, 1654 were missing,' helped emphasize the development of the story.

I enjoyed reading Why I Survived the A-Bomb because of the quality of the writing which is much like Isaac Asimov or Spider Robinson in flavor. I felt drawn into a well-crafted science fiction novel more than a biography. I did not close the hook feeling reminded of a tragedy of humanity or of moments of accidental hope. Rather, I ended it with the same sense of relief that I had at the end of reading Lord of the Rings. The book is powerfully written, but ultimately it deals with a world too remote from my life for its potential to be fully comprehended.

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1993

Peace Magazine Nov-Dec 1993, page 15. Some rights reserved.

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