These days we tend to be focused on the election, the coronavirus pandemic, climate change-enhanced wildfires and hurricanes and the economy. Those things are all important. But what is the most urgent threat to the planet and all the people on it? The use of nuclear weapons, just as has been true ever since 1945. In this remarkable book by first-time author Leslie Sussan, we see just what those two massive explosions in Japan meant to the people who experienced them. And to those who have documented those effects, notably the author’s father, who filmed and interviewed the bombing victims who survived, and to the author, who worked for thirty years to tell the story. But it’s not just a fine documentary; what kept me reading long past my regular bedtime was the personal side of the story. It has so many fascinating details and is so well-written that the reader can’t help but be engrossed in the two parallel tales–Herbert Sussan as a Hollywood film-maker who became the prime recorder of post-bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Leslie Sussan, who became the detective and interpreter who, through almost superhuman effort, was able to bring Herb’s story to light. The insights into the American military and into Japanese culture and history alone make this worth reading, but it is so much more!

David in Denver