August 6th is the anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. Pacifica Radio Archives commemorates the anniversary every year with a live recording of the radio adaptation of John Hersey'sHiroshima, arguably the most famous work of the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and reporter. An account of the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 as told from the perspective of six survivors, it is written in a stark, objective voice that manages to be precise and all the more vivid for its understatement of events. A profoundly influential work, Hiroshima has long since been established as one of the classic accounts of the Second World War. This week, on From the Vault, we'll here excerpts of Pacifica Radio Archives radio adaptation of John Hersey's masterpiece.
The original radio adaptation of John Hersey's Hiroshima stars Tyne Daly, Ruby Dee and Roscoe Lee Brown, Daniel Benzali, Roscoe Lee Browne, Esther K. Chae, Michael Chinyamurindi, Tony Plana, Jeanne Sakata, Chris Toshima and John Valentine. Produced by Brian DeShazor and Mark Torres, in association with Artists United and The Feminist Majority. Adapted for radio by John Valentine. Directed by Michael Haney. Music by Mark Snow.
But first we begin with an excerpt of a Boston University speech by Howard Zinn from November 11th, 2009 on American "Holy Wars." In this talk, Zinn scours the American war record in search of a "good war" or "justifiable war."
*The Pacifica Radio Archives' recording of John Hersey's "Hiroshima" received a National Federation of Community Broadcasters Special Merit Award in the Radio Drama category.