The 31,000-word article filled the entire Aug. 31, 1946 issue of The New Yorker magazine—the first anniversary of the detonation of the first atomic bomb at the close of World War II. Although there was no advance publicity of the article, the issue quickly sold out on New York’s newsstands as word of mouth spread. Subsequently the article was published as a book which is still in print today.
“Hiroshima”’s impact is incalculable. Many scholars consider Hersey’s beautifully told story to be a major factor in bringing a war-weary humanity to its senses and possibly preventing a repetition of the horror that Hiroshima—and, shortly thereafter, Nagasaki—endured in August of 1945.