Mr Straight Arrow: The Career of John Hersey, Author of Hiroshima

Martin Bell at Literary Review:

Hiroshima ran to 31,000 words. The original article filled the entire edition of the New Yorker on 31 August 1946, the first time in the magazine’s history that this had ever happened. It was serialised in full in eighty other publications around the world and eventually even in Japan. Subsequently republished in book form, it has been in print ever since and has sold more than three million copies. And yet, unusually for a work of journalism, it appeared more than a year after the events it described. There were reasons for the delay. One was the difficulty of accessing Hiroshima and the severity of postwar censorship. Another was the effect of the demonisation of the Japanese people in the American media after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It took an original mind and an eloquent pen to portray them as victims as well as aggressors. Hersey possessed both. Among his peers, in my view, he was rivalled only by the late and great James Cameron of the equally late and great News Chronicle.

more here.