Alexievich, Svetlana. Chernobyl Prayer (Penguin, 2017).
A beautifully written book, it's been years since I had to look away from a page because it was just too heart-breaking to go on' - Arundhati Roy, Elle 'One of the most humane and terrifying books I've ever read' - Helen Simpson, Observer The devastating history of the Chernobyl disaster by Svetlana Alexievich, the winner of the Nobel prize in literature - A new translation by Anna Gunin and Arch Tait based on the revised text - In April 1986 a series of explosions shook the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Flames lit up the sky and radiation escaped to contaminate the land and poison the people for years to come. While officials tried to hush up the accident, Svetlana Alexievich spent years collecting testimonies from survivors - clean-up workers, residents, firefighters, resettlers, widows, orphans - crafting their voices into a haunting oral history of fear, anger and uncertainty, but also dark humour and love. A chronicle of the past and a warning for our nuclear future, Chernobyl Prayer shows what it is like to bear witness, and remember in a world that wants you to forget.
Drell, Sidney D. and James E. Goodby. The Gravest Danger (Hoover Press, 2003).
The mortal danger of nuclear weapons is unique in its terrifying potential for devastation on an unprecedented and unimaginable scale. In this book, Sidney D. Drell and James E. Goodby—each with more than twenty years' experience in national security issues both in public and private capacities—review the main policy issues surrounding nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. They address the specific actions that the community of nations—with American leadership—should take to confront and turn back the nuclear danger that imperils humanity. The nuclear genie, say the authors, cannot be put back in the bottle. Our most urgent task as a nation today is to successfully manage, contain, and reduce the grave danger of nuclear weapons—whether in the hands of adversaries or friendly states. This book hopes to stimulate active public dialogue on this important subject.
The nuclear genie, say the authors, cannot be put back in the bottle. Our most urgent task as a nation today is to successfully manage, contain, and reduce the grave danger of nuclear weaponswhether in the hands of adversaries or friendly states. This book hopes to stimulate active public dialogue on this important subject.
Sidney D. Drell is a professor of theoretical physics emeritus at Stanford University’s Linear Accelerator Center and a senior fellow at its Hoover Institution. James E. Goodby has held a number of ambassadorial-rank positions, including several concerning nuclear weapons issues. He co-authored this book while a diplomat-in-residence at Stanford’s Institute for International Studies.
Ellsberg, Daniel. The Doomsday Machine. (Bloomsbury USA, 2017).
From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day.
Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
Framed as a memoir--a chronicle of madness in which Ellsberg acknowledges participating--this gripping exposé reads like a thriller and offers feasible steps we can take to dismantle the existing "doomsday machine" and avoid nuclear catastrophe, returning Ellsberg to his role as a whistle-blower. The Doomsday Machine is thus a real-life Dr. Strangelove story and an ultimately hopeful--and powerfully important--book about not just our country, but the future of the world.
Hersey, John. Hiroshima (Vintage; Reprint edition, 1989).
On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey's journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic "that stirs the conscience of humanity" (The New York Times).
Almost four decades after the original publication of this celebrated 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 eloquent and moving final chapter of Hiroshima.
Well before Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out against nuclear weapons, African Americans were protesting the Bomb. Historians have generally ignored African Americans when studying the anti-nuclear movement, yet they were some of the first citizens to protest Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Now for the first time, African Americans Against the Bomb tells the compelling story of those black activists who fought for nuclear disarmament by connecting the nuclear issue with the fight for racial equality.
Intondi shows that from early on, blacks in America saw the use of atomic bombs as a racial issue, asking why such enormous resources were being spent building nuclear arms instead of being used to improve impoverished communities. Black activists' fears that race played a role in the decision to deploy atomic bombs only increased when the U.S. threatened to use nuclear weapons in Korea in the 1950s and Vietnam a decade later. For black leftists in Popular Front groups, the nuclear issue was connected to colonialism: the U.S. obtained uranium from the Belgian controlled Congo and the French tested their nuclear weapons in the Sahara.
By expanding traditional research in the history of the nuclear disarmament movement to look at black liberals, clergy, artists, musicians, and civil rights leaders, Intondi reveals the links between the black freedom movement in America and issues of global peace. From Langston Hughes through Lorraine Hansberry to President Obama, African Americans Against the Bomb offers an eye-opening account of the continuous involvement of African Americans who recognized that the rise of nuclear weapons was a threat to the civil rights of all people.
Jones, Nate. Able Archer 83 (The New Press, 2016).
In November 1983, Soviet nuclear forces went on high alert. After months nervously watching increasingly assertive NATO military posturing, Soviet intelligence agencies in Western Europe received flash telegrams reporting alarming activity on U.S. bases. In response, the Soviets began planning for a countdown to a nuclear first strike by NATO on Eastern Europe. And then Able Archer 83, a vast NATO war game exercise that modeled a Soviet attack on NATO allies, ended.
What the West didn’t know at the time was that the Soviets thought Operation Able Archer 83 was real and were actively preparing for a surprise missile attack from NATO. This close scrape with Armageddon was largely unknown until last October when the U.S. government released a ninety-four-page presidential analysis of Able Archer that the National Security Archive had spent over a decade trying to declassify. Able Archer 83 is based upon more than a thousand pages of declassified documents that archive staffer Nate Jones has pried loose from several U.S. government agencies and British archives, as well as from formerly classified Soviet Politburo and KGB files, vividly recreating the atmosphere that nearly unleashed nuclear war.
Kelleher, Catherine McArdle and Judith Reppy. Getting to Zero: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament (Stanford University Press, 2011).
Getting to Zero takes on the much-debated goal of nuclear zero- exploring the serious policy questions raised by nuclear disarmament and suggesting practical steps for the nuclear weapon states to take to achieve it.
It documents the successes and failures of six decades of attempts to control nuclear weapons proliferation and, within this context, asks the urgent questions that world leaders, politicians, NGOs, and scholars must address in the years ahead. Available free on Kindle.
Koenig, Matthew. The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy: Why Strategic Superiority Matters (Oxford University Press, 2018).
For decades, the reigning scholarly wisdom about nuclear weapons policy has been that the United States only needs the ability to absorb an enemy nuclear attack and still be able to respond with a devastating counterattack. So long as the US, or any other nation, retains such an assured retaliation capability, no sane leader would intentionally launch a nuclear attack against it, and nuclear deterrence will hold. According to this theory, possessing more weapons than necessary for a second-strike capability is illogical.
This argument is reasonable, but, when compared to the empirical record, it raises an important puzzle. Empirically, we see that the United States has always maintained a nuclear posture that is much more robust than a mere second-strike capability. In The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy, Matthew Kroenig challenges the conventional wisdom and explains why a robust nuclear posture, above and beyond a mere second-strike capability, contributes to a state's national security goals. In fact, when a state has a robust nuclear weapons force, such a capability reduces its expected costs in a war, provides it with bargaining leverage, and ultimately enhances nuclear deterrence. This book provides a novel theoretical explanation for why military nuclear advantages translate into geopolitical advantages. In so doing, it helps resolve one of the most-intractable puzzles in international security studies.
Buoyed by an innovative thesis and a vast array of historical and quantitative evidence, The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy will force scholars to reconsider their basic assumptions about the logic of nuclear deterrence.
Larsen, Jeffrey A. and Kerry M. Kartchner. On Limited Nuclear War in the 21st Century (Stanford University Press, 2014).
The last two decades have seen a slow but steady increase in nuclear armed states, and in the seemingly less constrained policy goals of some of the newer "rogue" states in the international system. The authors ofOn Limited Nuclear War in the 21st Century argue that a time may come when one of these states makes the conscious decision that using a nuclear weapon against the United States, its allies, or forward deployed forces in the context of a crisis or a regional conventional conflict may be in its interests. They assert that we are unprepared for these types of limited nuclear wars and that it is urgent we rethink the theory, policy, and implementation of force related to our approaches to this type of engagement.
Together they critique Cold War doctrine on limited nuclear war and consider a number of the key concepts that should govern our approach to limited nuclear conflict in the future. These include identifying the factors likely to lead to limited nuclear war, examining the geopolitics of future conflict scenarios that might lead to small-scale nuclear use, and assessing strategies for crisis management and escalation control. Finally, they consider a range of strategies and operational concepts for countering, controlling, or containing limited nuclear war.
Narang, Vipin. Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era. (Princeton University Press, 2014).
The world is in a second nuclear age in which regional powers play an increasingly prominent role. These states have small nuclear arsenals, often face multiple active conflicts, and sometimes have weak institutions. How do these nuclear states―and potential future ones―manage their nuclear forces and influence international conflict? Examining the reasoning and deterrence consequences of regional power nuclear strategies, this book demonstrates that these strategies matter greatly to international stability and it provides new insights into conflict dynamics across important areas of the world such as the Middle East, East Asia, and South Asia.
Vipin Narang identifies the diversity of regional power nuclear strategies and describes in detail the posture each regional power has adopted over time. Developing a theory for the sources of regional power nuclear strategies, he offers the first systematic explanation of why states choose the postures they do and under what conditions they might shift strategies. Narang then analyzes the effects of these choices on a state's ability to deter conflict. Using both quantitative and qualitative analysis, he shows that, contrary to a bedrock article of faith in the canon of nuclear deterrence, the acquisition of nuclear weapons does not produce a uniform deterrent effect against opponents. Rather, some postures deter conflict more successfully than others.
Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era considers the range of nuclear choices made by regional powers and the critical challenges they pose to modern international security.
Perry, William. My Journey at the Nuclear Brink (Stanford Security Studies, 2015).
My Journey at the Nuclear Brink is a continuation of William J. Perry's efforts to keep the world safe from a nuclear catastrophe. It tells the story of his coming of age in the nuclear era, his role in trying to shape and contain it, and how his thinking has changed about the threat these weapons pose.
In a remarkable career, Perry has dealt firsthand with the changing nuclear threat. Decades of experience and special access to top-secret knowledge of strategic nuclear options have given Perry a unique, and chilling, vantage point from which to conclude that nuclear weapons endanger our security rather than securing it.
This book traces his thought process as he journeys from the Cuban Missile Crisis, to crafting a defense strategy in the Carter Administration to offset the Soviets' numeric superiority in conventional forces, to presiding over the dismantling of more than 8,000 nuclear weapons in the Clinton Administration, and to his creation in 2007, with George Shultz, Sam Nunn, and Henry Kissinger, of the Nuclear Security Project to articulate their vision of a world free from nuclear weapons and to lay out the urgent steps needed to reduce nuclear dangers.
Rhodes, Richard. Arsenals of Folly (Knopf, 2007).
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb: the story of the entire postwar superpower arms race, climaxing during the Reagan-Gorbachev decade when the United States and the Soviet Union came within scant hours of nuclear war—and then nearly agreed to abolish nuclear weapons.
In a narrative that reads like a thriller, Rhodes reveals how the Reagan administration’s unprecedented arms buildup in the early 1980s led ailing Soviet leader Yuri Andropov to conclude that Reagan must be preparing for a nuclear war. In the fall of 1983, when NATO staged a larger than usual series of field exercises that included, uniquely, a practice run-up to a nuclear attack, the Soviet military came very close to launching a defensive first strike on Europe and North America. With Soviet aircraft loaded with nuclear bombs warming up on East German runways, U.S. intelligence organizations finally realized the danger. Then Reagan, out of deep conviction, launched the arms-reduction campaign of his second presidential term and set the stage for his famous 1986 summit meeting with Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, and the breakthroughs that followed.
Rhodes reveals the early influence of neoconservatives and right-wing figures such as Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Paul Wolfowitz. We see how Perle in particular sabotaged the Reykjavik meeting by convincing Reagan that mutual nuclear disarmament meant giving up his cherished dream of strategic defense (the Star Wars system). Rhodes’s detailed exploration of these and other events constitutes a prehistory of the neoconservatives, demonstrating that the manipulation of government and public opinion with fake intelligence and threat inflation that the administration of George W. Bush has used to justify the current “war on terror” and the disastrous invasion of Iraq were developed and applied in the Reagan era and even before.
Drawing on personal interviews with both Soviet and U.S. participants, and on a wealth of new documentation, memoir literature, and oral history that has become available only in the past ten years, Rhodes recounts what actually happened in the final years of the Cold War that led to its dramatic end. The story is new, compelling, and continually surprising—a revelatory re-creation of a hugely important era of our recent history.
Rhodes, Richard. The Making of the Atomic Bomb (Simon & Schuster; Anniversary, Reprint edition, 1986).
Twenty-five years after its initial publication, The Making of the Atomic Bomb remains the definitive history of nuclear weapons and the Manhattan Project. From the turn-of-the-century discovery of nuclear energy to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan, Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book details the science, the people, and the socio-political realities that led to the development of the atomic bomb.
This sweeping account begins in the 19th century, with the discovery of nuclear fission, and continues to World War Two and the Americans’ race to beat Hitler’s Nazis. That competition launched the Manhattan Project and the nearly overnight construction of a vast military-industrial complex that culminated in the fateful dropping of the first bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Reading like a character-driven suspense novel, the book introduces the players in this saga of physics, politics, and human psychology—from FDR and Einstein to the visionary scientists who pioneered quantum theory and the application of thermonuclear fission, including Planck, Szilard, Bohr, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Teller, Meitner, von Neumann, and Lawrence.
From nuclear power’s earliest foreshadowing in the work of H.G. Wells to the bright glare of Trinity at Alamogordo and the arms race of the Cold War, this dread invention forever changed the course of human history, and The Making of The Atomic Bomb provides a panoramic backdrop for that story.
Richard Rhodes’s ability to craft compelling biographical portraits is matched only by his rigorous scholarship. Told in rich human, political, and scientific detail that any reader can follow, The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a thought-provoking and masterful work.
Sagan, Scott D. and Kenneth N. Waltz. The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: An Enduring Debate (W. W. Norton & Company, 2012).
A long-time staple of International Relations courses, this new edition continues the important discussion of nuclear proliferation, while looking at the regions and issues now at the forefront of the nuclear question.
Over the past fifteen years, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons has been a staple in International Relations courses because of its brevity and crystal-clear explanations. The new edition, An Enduring Debate, continues the important discussion of nuclear proliferation and the dangers of a nuclear-armed world. With new chapters on the questions surrounding a nuclear North Korea, Iran, and Iraq and the potential for a world free of nuclear weapons, this Third Edition will continue to generate a lively classroom experience.
Scarry, Elaine. Crossing Between Democracy and Doom: Thermonuclear Monarchy (W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition, 2014).
From one of our leading social thinkers, a compelling case for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
During his impeachment proceedings, Richard Nixon boasted, "I can go into my office and pick up the telephone and in twenty-five minutes seventy million people will be dead." Nixon was accurately describing not only his own power but also the power of every American president in the nuclear age.
Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon each contemplated using nuclear weapons―Eisenhower twice, Kennedy three times, Johnson once, Nixon four times. Whether later presidents, from Ford to Obama, considered using them we will learn only once their national security papers are released.
In this incisive, masterfully argued new book, award-winning social theorist Elaine Scarry demonstrates that the power of one leader to obliterate millions of people with a nuclear weapon―a possibility that remains very real even in the wake of the Cold War―deeply violates our constitutional rights, undermines the social contract, and is fundamentally at odds with the deliberative principles of democracy.
According to the Constitution, the decision to go to war requires rigorous testing by both Congress and the citizenry; when a leader can single-handedly decide to deploy a nuclear weapon, we live in a state of “thermonuclear monarchy,” not democracy.
The danger of nuclear weapons comes from potential accidents or acquisition by terrorists, hackers, or rogue countries. But the gravest danger comes from the mistaken idea that there exists some case compatible with legitimate governance. There can be no such case. Thermonuclear Monarchy shows the deformation of governance that occurs when a country gains nuclear weapons.
In bold and lucid prose, Thermonuclear Monarchy identifies the tools that will enable us to eliminate nuclear weapons and bring the decision for war back into the hands of Congress and the people. Only by doing so can we secure the safety of home populations, foreign populations, and the earth itself.
Schlosser, Eric. Command and Control (Penguin Books; Reprint edition, 2014).
Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved—and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind. While the harms of global warming increasingly dominate the news, the equally dangerous yet more immediate threat of nuclear weapons has been largely forgotten.
Written with the vibrancy of a first-rate thriller, Command and Control interweaves the minute-by-minute story of an accident at a nuclear missile silo in rural Arkansas with a historical narrative that spans more than fifty years. It depicts the urgent effort by American scientists, policy makers, and military officers to ensure that nuclear weapons can’t be stolen, sabotaged, used without permission, or detonated inadvertently. Schlosser also looks at the Cold War from a new perspective, offering history from the ground up, telling the stories of bomber pilots, missile commanders, maintenance crews, and other ordinary servicemen who risked their lives to avert a nuclear holocaust. At the heart of the book lies the struggle, amid the rolling hills and small farms of Damascus, Arkansas, to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States.
Drawing on recently declassified documents and interviews with people who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Command and Control takes readers into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view. Through the details of a single accident, Schlosser illustrates how an unlikely event can become unavoidable, how small risks can have terrible consequences, and how the most brilliant minds in the nation can only provide us with an illusion of control. Audacious, gripping, and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism, an eye-opening look at the dangers of America’s nuclear age.
Schultz, George and Sidney D. Drell (Editors). The Nuclear Enterprise (Hoover Institution Press, 2012).
Since the first atomic bomb explosions in the summer of 1945 and the initiation of a nuclear power reactor program soon thereafter, the United States has worked to establish a high standard of safety in its national program for both its weapons and its civilian power activities. Today, however, the nuclear enterprise faces new and increasingly difficult challenges. It is imperative that nuclear enterprise leaders create a culture of safety in all levels of nuclear operations implemented by a team of technical and managerial talent with full accountability and proper priorities. In The Nuclear Enterprise, a panel of expert contributors offers its views on the risks posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear power and the possibilities for reducing these risks globally, focusing specifically on issues of safety, regulation, and public perception.
The authors, all specialists on various aspects of this challenging topic, begin with a discussion of safety issues surrounding nuclear weapons. They point out the superb safety record of the US nuclear weapons program since 1945 but caution that we are still working our way through safety challenges that were made more difficult by design decisions taken to meet military requirements set during the height of the Cold War. They then discuss nuclear reactor safety, including what to do with high-level radioactive waste, how to face the challenge of internationalizing the process of ensuring reactor safety around the world, and more. In their discussion of economic and regulatory issues, they focus on the importance of establishing and maintaining an independent authority protected from regulatory capture by either the government or the industry being regulated. The book concludes with an exploration of media and public policy issues, discussing how insights gained from the preceding chapters might be used to inform and raise public and governmental discussions regarding the nuclear enterprise in the energy and weapons arenas.
The risk posed by the nuclear enterprise of weapons and civilian power plants is unique in its enormity. Successful leadership in national security policy will require a continuous, diligent, and multinational assessment of newly emerging risks and consequences.
Sherman, Ambassador Wendy. Not for the Faint of Heart (PublicAffairs, 2018).
Distinguished diplomat Ambassador Wendy Sherman brings readers inside the negotiating room to show how to put diplomatic values like courage, power, and persistence to work in their own lives.
Few people have sat across from the Iranians and the North Koreans at the negotiating table. Wendy Sherman has done both. During her time as the lead US negotiator of the historic Iran nuclear deal and throughout her distinguished career, Wendy Sherman has amassed tremendous expertise in the most pressing foreign policy issues of our time. Throughout her life-from growing up in civil-rights-era Baltimore, to stints as a social worker, campaign manager, and business owner, to advising multiple presidents-she has relied on values that have shaped her approach to work and leadership: authenticity, effective use of power and persistence, acceptance of change, and commitment to the team.
Not for the Faint of Heart takes readers inside the world of international diplomacy and into the mind of one of our most effective negotiators-often the only woman in the room. She shows why good work in her field is so hard to do, and how we can learn to apply core skills of diplomacy to the challenges in our own lives.
Wittner, Lawrence S. Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement (Stanford University Press, 2009).
Confronting the Bomb tells the dramatic, inspiring story of how citizen activism helped curb the nuclear arms race and prevent nuclear war. This abbreviated version of Lawrence Wittner's award-winning trilogy, The Struggle Against the Bomb, shows how a worldwide, grassroots campaign- the largest social movement of modern times- challenged the nuclear priorities of the great powers and, ultimately, thwarted their nuclear ambitions. Based on massive research in the files of peace and disarmament organizations and in formerly top secret government records, extensive interviews with antinuclear activists and government officials, and memoirs and other published materials, Confronting the Bomb opens a unique window on one of the most important issues of the modern era: survival in the nuclear age. It covers the entire period of significant opposition to the bomb, from the final stages of the Second World War up to the present. Along the way, it provides fascinating glimpses of the interaction of key nuclear disarmament activists and policymakers, including Albert Einstein, Harry Truman, Albert Schweitzer, Norman Cousins, Nikita Khrushchev, Bertrand Russell, Andrei Sakharov, Linus Pauling, Dwight Eisenhower, Harold Macmillan, John F. Kennedy, Randy Forsberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, Helen Caldicott, E. P. Thompson, and Ronald Reagan. Overall, however, it is a story of popular mobilization and its effectiveness.
Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Unforgettable Fire (Pantheon Books, Inc., 1981).
One day in May,1974, Mr. Iwakichi Kobayashi, a seventy-seven year old man brought a single picture of bombing to the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) Hiroshima Studio. The airing of this picture in June 1974 resulted in tremendous viewer response. A total of 975 pictures were submitted to the NHK in two months and exhibited at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum during August 1-6,1974, approximately 20,000 people saw the pictures.
Publisher Nippon Hoso Shuppan Kyokai edited and published 104 pictures in Japanese in 1977. Simultaneously the work was also translated into English by the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, and published as "Unforgettable Fire" by Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York in 1977.
This book has been uploaded with absolutely no intention of attaining any commercial gain nor any other benefit from it. The uploader's intent only to help create awareness about the human side of the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, often grossly overlooked in western media. All rights reserved by the respective owners of this publication. Click here to access the book.
Roose, Diana Wickes. Teach Us to Live: Stories from Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Intentional Productions, 2007).
How does a survivor become an inspiration? Teach Us to Live: stories from Hiroshima & Nagasaki presents the wisdom of eleven survivors of the August 1945 atomic bombing.
Today they are teachers, artists, poets, doctors and researchers, and committed advocates for nuclear abolition.
With full-color illustrations, photographs and artwork, and a comprehensive resource guide, this book will shock, inform and inspire readers of every age, helping them work for an end to these most powerful weapons of mass destruction.
A CD of live interviews with a-bomb survivors is also included.
Sakaguchi, Haruku, Paul Moakley and Lily Rothman. After the Bomb (Time Magazine Special, 2020).
When the nuclear age began, there was no mistaking it. The decision by the United States to drop the world’s first atomic weapons on two Japanese cities—Hiroshima first, on Aug. 6, 1945, and Nagasaki three days later—was that rare historical moment that requires little hindsight to gain its significance. World War II would end, and the Cold War soon begin. New frontiers of science were opening, along with new and frightening moral questions. As TIME noted in the week following the bombings, the men aboard the Enola Gay could only summon two words: “My God!”
But, even as world leaders and ordinary citizens alike immediately began struggling to process the metaphorical aftershocks, one specific set of people had to face something else. For the survivors of those ruined cities, the coming of the bomb was a personal event before it was a global one. Amid the death and destruction, some combination of luck or destiny or smarts saved them—and therefore saved the voices that can still tell the world what it looks like when human beings find new and terrible ways to destroy one another.
Stelan, Caren. Sachiko (Carolrhoda Books, 2016).
This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui's survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko’s trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.
"As Fat Man hurled toward the city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, Sachiko Yasui, 6, was playing house. She ducked for cover, awaking hours later just 'half a mile from the [bomb's] hypocenter,', buried beneath mountains of debris, her mouth clogged with ash. Stelson first heard Sachiko speak in August of 2005. From 2010–15, Stelson traveled to and from Nagasaki, conducting a series of five interviews with the singular Sachiko. The result is a story of staggering hardship and extraordinary resolve. In it, Stelson outlines the plight of Sachiko, her family, and other hibakusha ('explosion-affected people'), from the Yasuis' lengthy trek to safety in nearby Shimbara and decimating radiation sickness, to the grueling restoration of a barren city. The narrative is further supplemented by two-page educational tidbits, interspersed throughout. Here, Stelson addresses the Japanese government, Emperor Hirohito and prime minister Hideko Tojo, internment camps, the U.S.'s stifling occupation of Japan, and 'long-term effects of radiation.' With Sachiko forever in the foreground, readers learn of her grievous loss, devotion to education, regard for peace (and its devotees: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller), and her fairly recent decision to give voice to her experiences. Sachiko and her story, much like the resilient Nagasaki camphor trees she so admires, are an indelible force. Luminous, enduring, utterly necessary." (Booklist)
Yamazaki, James and Louis B. Fleming. Children of the Atomic Bomb (Duke University Press Books, 1995).
Despite familiar images of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan and the controversy over its fiftieth anniversary, the human impact of those horrific events often seems lost to view. In this uncommon memoir, Dr. James N. Yamazaki tells us in personal and moving terms of the human toll of nuclear warfare and the specific vulnerability of children to the effects of these weapons. Giving voice to the brutal ironies of racial and cultural conflict, of war and sacrifice, his story creates an inspiring and humbling portrait of events whose lessons remain difficult and troubling fifty years later.
Children of the Atomic Bomb is Dr. Yamazaki’s account of a lifelong effort to understand and document the impact of nuclear explosions on children, particularly the children conceived but not yet born at the time of the explosions. Assigned in 1949 as Physician-in-Charge of the United States Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Nagasaki, Yamazaki had served as a combat surgeon at the Battle of the Bulge where he had been captured and held as a prisoner of war by the Germans. In Japan he was confronted with violence of another dimension—the devastating impact of a nuclear blast and the particularly insidious effects of radiation on children.
Yamazaki’s story is one of striking juxtapositions, an account of a Japanese-American’s encounter with racism, the story of a man who fought for his country while his parents were interned in a concentration camp in Arkansas. Once the object of discrimination at home, Yamazaki paradoxically found himself in Japan for the first time as an American, part of the Allied occupation forces, and again an outsider. This experience resonates through his work with the children of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and with the Marshallese people who bore the brunt of America’s postwar testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific.
Recalling a career that has spanned five decades, Dr. Yamazaki chronicles the discoveries that helped chart the dangers of nuclear radiation and presents powerful observations of both the medical and social effects of the bomb. He offers an indelible picture of human tragedy, a tale of unimaginable suffering, and a dedication to healing that is ultimately an unwavering, impassioned plea for peace.