Books: Awakening a Sleeping Giant the Call

by John Hersey; Knopf; 701 pages; $19.95

John Hersey, 70, is back home on Martha's Vineyard after wintering in Key West. But his attention is already turning westward, across Vineyard Sound and Buzzards Bay, over the American landmass, toward the Pacific and beyond. The New Yorker once again has asked him to visit and write about Hiroshima, 40 years after the city was destroyed by a single bomb and 39 years after Hersey marked the first anniversary of atomic warfare with the most celebrated piece of journalism to come out of World War II. Hiroshima filled the magazine's entire August 31, 1946, issue. Published in hardcover soon after,...

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