Books: Psychological Ground Zero

DEATH IN LIFE: SURVIVORS OF HIROSHIMA by Robert Jay Lifton. 594 pages. Random House. $10.

John Hersey's Hiroshima, published in 1946, consisted of 35,000 simple, meticulously arranged and muted words that told the story of six people who, a year earlier, had survived the biggest unnatural disaster in history. In that account, eyes ran from sockets, flesh bubbled from bone, a city disappeared in a flash. Yet the damage report was not complete, as Yale Research Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton shows in this compassionate and important study of the malaise that still pollutes...

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