WE OF NAGASAKI by Takushi Nagal


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With no recrimination and with infinite simplicity, this is the record of the physical and the spiritual damage of the atom bomb as experienced by Dr. Nagai, his family and his neighbors. Whether as told by Kayano Nagai, who was four when she saw the ""sea of fire"", her mother killed and ""every day lots of people died every place"", or as told by Makoto Nagai, a little older, or by others, the record varies little. There are always the dead and the dying (""There were just too many dead people; there weren't enough living ones to take care of the dead""); the ruins; the long, lingering effects; and particularly the moral stain of guilt and conscience for those left unhelped, unthought of, in the scramble for survival. (""We who had always been gentle people began doing petty little bits of evil""). This is the point made by Dr. Nagai in closing, that although the destructive power of the bomb proved finite, its physical effects not unbearable, they are still scarred by the memory of personal fear and failure. Lacking the timeliness, or the more professional gifts of Kersey's classic Hir this in its unstudied, spoken transcript is also unfailingly affective.

Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce