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Hardcover Children of the Atomic Bomb: An American Physician's Memoir of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the Marshall Islands Book

ISBN: 0822316587

ISBN13: 9780822316589

Children of the Atomic Bomb: An American Physician's Memoir of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the Marshall Islands

Despite familiar images of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan and the controversy over its fiftieth anniversary, the human impact of those horrific events often seems lost to view. In this... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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"Children of the Atomic Bomb" is a disturbing look into the after effects of the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima during World War II. In reference to the fallout of radiation, the Marshall Islands incident is also discussed. The author's primary emphasis is placed on the bomb's effects on children, including those still in the womb and those not yet conceived. There is a great deal of valuable information in this book, though I must admit I found the explanations too short at times. Dr. Yamazaki is an American of Asian descent, who served his country in World War II. Because of his nationality, he endured racism depite being an American. Ironically, even in his research in Japan he endured prejudice because he was seen as an American. This gives an interesting twist to the story. Dr. Yamazaki's focus began in studying the unborm children of the atomic bomb. While the adults in the fallout tended to develop cancer at high rates later in life, the children had a high motality rate. Cancer and mental retardation were among the primary defects developed in these children. Many were also born with small heads, caused by the soft tissue of the skull solidifing too soon. These "pica babies" or babies of the blinding flash showed an alarming vulnerablity during the eighth and fifteenth weeks of development. Babies in this span of development showed the greatest health problems. Searching for genetic defects is the next goal of the research, though the stigma of being a pica baby makes some reluctant to come forward for research. One of the things I enjoyed about the book was that Dr. Yamazaki did not choose to argue for or against the use of the bomb. Instead, he chose to pursue the possibility that something like this should never happen again. In American culture, we pay little attention to the after effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan. Our primary focus in America in studying World War II is the fall of the Nazi regime. This book is an eye-opening experience in the events that unfolded in Japan as the war ended. My only complaint is that the book is often too concise.

An incredibly important work

This is the personal and medical memoir of Dr. James Yamazaki, an American of Japanese descent who went to Japan a few years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dr. Yamazaki went to study the effects of radiation exposure on the populace, and particularly its effects on children. Dr. Yamazaki spent several years in Nagasaki before returning to the US to continue research on the effects of radiation on children (as well as having a general pediatric practice.)In addition to his pioneering medical work, he also talked to government commissions about nuclear disarmament. He told them what he saw in Japan in the aftermath of the atomic bomb. His medical knowledge gave him the authority to speak as a peace activist as well.A highly recommended, highly moving book. It is short and easy to read and should be essential reading to all human beings about those horrible days in the history of the world.
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