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John Hersey's Hiroshima is one of the narratives that have shaped our world, and is a great core text for a study of journalism, modern non-fiction, or life-writing. This extensive, 54-page unit comprises:


  • An introductory section on the event
  • Six sections on each of the work's parts
  • An extra/extension section on short films about nuclear issues
  • A bibliography of the influence of Hersey's journalism
  • A close-reading exercise which compares Hersey's style in 1946 and 1985
  • A list of long-form analytical and creative responses
  • Several contextual texts including the JapaneseImperial Rescript of Surrender and the Renunciation of Imperial Divinity; poetry by other survivors, and other American essays justifying the military's decision


This unit was tested with a mixed-ability Year 10 class (age 15-16) and a lower-ability Year 11 (age 16-17) class.

Unit of Work: John Hersey, Hiroshima

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