Shockwave by Stephen Walker
Countdown to Hiroshima

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A riveting, minute-by-minute account of the momentous event that changed our world forever

On a quiet Monday morning in August 1945, a five-ton bomb—dubbed Little Boy by its creators—was dropped from an American plane onto the Japanese city of Hiroshima. On that day, a firestorm of previously unimagined power was unleashed on a vibrant metropolis of 300,000 people, leaving one third of its population dead, its buildings and landmarks incinerated. It was the terrifying dawn of the Atomic Age, spawning decades of paranoia, mistrust, and a widespread and very real fear of the potential annihilation of the human race.

Author Stephen Walker brilliantly re-creates the three terrible weeks leading up to the wartime detonation of the atomic bomb—from the first successful test in the New Mexico desert to the cataclysm and its aftermath—presenting the story through the eyes of pilots, scientists, civilian victims, and world leaders who stood at the center of earth-shattering drama. It is a startling, moving, frightening, and remarkable portrait of an extraordinary event—a shockwave whose repercussions can be felt to this very day.


About Stephen Walker

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Stephen Walker directed the award-winning feature film Prisoners in Time (starring John Hurt) and wrote and directed an Emmy Award–winning BBC documentary on the bombing of Hiroshima. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.
Published March 17, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 400 pages
Genres: History, War, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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It was, at first, as Walker notes, against a city that, though a legitimate military target, appears to have been chosen for destruction for reasons of psychological effect: “Hiroshima’s pristine condition,” writes Walker, “virtually guaranteed the weapon’s initial use would be spectacular.” So ...

Jun 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Shockwave: Countdown to Hiros...

Entertainment Weekly

Stephen Walker's admirably evenhanded and smoothly written history, Shockwave, records the countdown from the explosion of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos in July 1945 to the incineration of Hiroshima, Japan, three weeks later, difficult and dramatic material that he has turned into that r...

Jul 22 2005 | Read Full Review of Shockwave: Countdown to Hiros...


The Smithsonian exhibit would have suggested that Cold War planning and posturing began in the concluding moments of World War II and that one legacy of Hiroshima would be the massive nuclear arms race of the decades to come.

Aug 05 2015 | Read Full Review of Shockwave: Countdown to Hiros...

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