Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima

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9780060742843: Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima

At 8.15 a.m. on 6 August 1945, Major Tom Ferebee, the ladykilling, poker-playing bombardier on board a B29 bomber flicks a switch. In the bomb bay a single shackle drops its load into the freezing air. It plummets towards a city but no commuters look up.

Then the bomb explodes. The shockwave rips out from the epicentre, flattening every object in its path. Tens of thousands of people are annihilated. In that instant, the name Hiroshima is stamped on the consciousness of a world that will never be the same again.

In this tense, real-life narrative of events unprecedented interviews with witnesses interweave in a tapestry of voices. They include the co-pilot who writes a minute-by-minute diary on board the Enola Gay. The atomic scientist who arms the bomb in mid-air equipped with a screwdriver and a spanner. The Japanese student desperately searching for his lover in the ruins of the city. The doctor forced to treat thousands of burnt bodies with only soy-bean oil and wet leaves.

Combining a rich array of sources with brilliant storytelling, Stephen Walker grippingly charts the defining event of the 20th century, on its 60th anniversary.

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Review:

Simply riveting. You live every breathless second of it. A terrific book ( Michael Buerk)

A devastating story grippingly told, Shockwave also succeeds in being a compelling portrayal of human beings at work. ( Lloyds List)

Remarkable. I have been waiting for this book for sixty years ( Gitta Sereny author of Albert Speer: His Battle)

Stephen Walker has produced a bravura performance ... the horror of what happened is almost impossible to bear (Focus)

Riveting (Soldier)

Shockwave combines racy, colorful historical detail with profound human concern in a way that does justice to its weighty theme. A remarkable storytelling achievement (Frederick Taylor, author of Dresden)

An utterly gripping work of micro-history. Stephen Walker proves himself to be a master of dramatic tension (Christopher Silvester, Sunday Express)

'Somehow through the pages of this taut chronology the merest whisper of the enormity of it all comes through.' (Word Magazine)

'Walker is content to let the terrible story speak for itself ... offers a timely and harrowing reminder' (Scotland On Sunday)

brilliant (Financial Times)

Well researched and it does tell you everything you want to know about Hiroshima (The Sunday Times)

'Shockwave is a stunning book, among the most immediate and thrilling works of history I have ever read ... Walker is a filmmaker, and he brings a director's eye for pace character and colour to this book so that the reading experience is almost a visual one' (Richard Aldous, The Irish Times)

'It's an unforgettable and deeply moving portrait of one of the defining moments of the 20th century' (Hampstead & Highgate Express)

'A most gripping paperback... War story enthusiasts will be fascinated.' (Dover Express & Folkestone Herald: Terry Sutton)

'It is the human details that resonate the most...an utterly gripping work of micro-history' (Evan Griffiths, Daily Express)

'A stunning book, among the most immediate and thrilling works of history I have ever read.' (Irish Times)

'A stunning chronicle of one of the 20th-century's defining moments.' (Good Book Guide)

'An exciting narrative' (Herald)

Book Description:

The countdown to Hiroshima and its horrific aftermath seen through the eyes of eyewitnesses

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