John Hersey died on the 24th May 1993.

Hersey wrote the most influential piece of journalism to come out of the Second World War – ‘Hiroshima‘.

‘Hiroshima’ examined the experiences of six people who survived the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945. The immensity of these events, on some faraway shore, would have gently diminished without Hersey’s writing.

All too aware that: “The important ‘flashes’ and ‘bulletins’ are already forgotten by the time yesterday morning’s paper is used to line the trash can. The things we remember for longer periods are emotions and impressions and illusions and images and characters: the elements of fiction.”

Hersey mixed fictional techniques with journalistic narrative, to create a new form of journalism, that was to influence the likes of Lillian Ross, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and Tom Wolfe.

But more importantly, Hersey’s ‘Hiroshima‘ was a stark warning that some humans now had the potential to destroy our world, a thought that has countered all human existence since.


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