Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #AmericanSurvivors #NetGalley
American Survivors is a fresh and moving historical account of U.S. survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, breaking new ground not only in the study of World War II but also in the public understanding of nuclear weaponry.
A truly trans-Pacific history, American Survivors challenges the dualistic distinction between Americans-as-victors and Japanese-as-victims often assumed by scholars of the nuclear war. Using more than 130 oral histories of Japanese American and Korean American survivors, their family members, community activists, and physicians - most of which appear here for the first time - Naoko Wake reveals a cross-national history of war, illness, immigration, gender, family, and community from intimately personal perspectives.
American Survivors brings to light the history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that connects, as much as separates, people across time and national boundaries.
"This deeply researched, sensitively analyzed, and beautifully written book rests on a source base of 132 interviews with American atomic-bomb survivors. Wake respectfully shows the range of ways that these individuals navigated their complicated lives and made sense of the enormous tragedy at their center." Laura Hein, Harold H. and Virginia Anderson Professor of History, Northwestern University
"Ghostly figures, American survivors of their nation’s nuclear holocaust, speak for themselves and for those who failed to survive in profound utterances and silences, the living and the dead. Their haunting testimonies, in translation, speak of the unspeakable and of life - remembering, forging connections with families and other survivors, and working for peace in and across the Pacific. Indeed, as Naoko Wake astutely observes, nuclear holocaust is by definition a global phenomenon for all times.’" Gary Y. Okihiro, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University
"Naoko Wake’s American Survivors is a beautifully written portrayal of the traumas suffered by atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She offers lyrical depictions of the visceral experience and the profound significance of silence. The work also foregrounds the cross-national and gendered experience of being hibakusha and the ways in which they and their allies engaged in transnational forms of activism." Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Professor of Asian American Studies, and Director of the Humanities Center, University of California, Irvine