New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946 Stock Code: 113442

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First edition, first printing. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the front free endpaper: "Dear Charlotte Chapman: Thanks for all the protection, and all the forwarding, and all the phoning. Put this away somewhere in the fervent hope that you've heard the last of it. Best, John Hersey Nov. 46". An excellent association copy: Charlotte Chapman was secretary to William Shawn, the much-loved and long serving editor of the New Yorker, who first published the story on 31 August 1946 (with a tipped-in note from her confirming the provenance and explaining that "Often Mr Hersey and Mr Shawn would be closeted behind a closed doors for hours at a time, while I, just outside the door, would see that nobody disturbed them"). Copies presented by the author so close to the date of publication are decidedly scarce.

John Hersey's famous account of the experiences of six Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors "was the first significant account in English of the devastation of Hiroshima; it remains an enormously influential book, the account that introduces Hiroshima to most Western readers" (Richard M. Minear ed., Hiroshima: Three Witnesses, 1990, p. 7).

Hersey (1914-1993) was one of the first proponents of New Journalism, which blends factual reporting with a novelistic prose style. He served as a war correspondent for Time and Life during World War II and became interested in the atomic bombings while covering the reconstruction of Japan. Its initial publication in the New Yorker is the only time that the magazine has devoted an entire issue to a single story. It remains one of the 20th-century's most significant pieces of journalism.

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Octavo. Original pale grey cloth, gilt lettered spine, blind lettered front cover, top edge brown. With the dust jacket.


Jacket spine toned and a little rubbed at extremities, a few nicks and chips, spine of binding slightly rolled. A very good copy.


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