Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review: Nagasaki Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard

Nagasaki Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard is a riveting, horrific and graphic book.  The author goes to Japan and interviews survivors of the US nuclear bombing mission against Nagasaki and the results are hard to read.  But the individual narratives are very well written

The message is important and the personal stories are gripping.  Reading about the horrors of having flesh burned off, the destruction, the pain while healing and the complete devastation can be overwhelming though important.

The book is not dispassionate and objective, and gripping thought it is, that lack of distance is its one flaw.  While we can all agree that nuclear war is a horrible thing we need also to put actions into a context, one in which Japan absolutely refused to surrender.

But these issues aside, this book is a valuable one.  Did I enjoy it?  I'm not sure.  It's very well written but also very painful.  Given the likely nuclear acceleration about to speed up in our world today, it's a book very worth reading.  If more people read books like this perhaps we wouldn't need to worry about the increasingly more likely next nuclear bomb.

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