To Hell and Back: The Last Train from Hiroshima


Charles Pellegrino's book, "To Hell and Back: The Last Train from Hiroshima," is a haunting and unforgettable account of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and its aftermath. Through the interwoven stories of survivors, Pellegrino paints a vivid picture of the devastation wrought by the bomb and the resilience of the human spirit.

Why I liked this book

This is not a happy read. Pellegrino paints a very bleak picture of the moments after the atomic bomb explosion on Hiroshima. Still, he manages to make the moments leading up to it fascinating. He puts you in the shoes of the Enola Gay’s crew as well as the Japanese who watched it minutes before it dropped its payload. He details the exact sequence of events occurring inside of the device. For fractions of a second, the bomb actually glowed like an eerie orb falling from the heavens. Upon detonation, temperatures soared past that of the surface of the sun. On the ground, citizens would’ve seen an overwhelmingly bright flash, burning their eyes and skin before a shockwave orders of magnitude greater than any in history passed through Hiroshima. The destruction that ensued would be unbelievable if Pellegrino didn’t verify it with eyewitness testimony.

The book is a great reminder about the dangers of nuclear weapons and that they should be abhorred. They are the most vile pieces of technology ever created. Despite this, it’s important to know history for what it was. If you’re interested history and the dark parts of it, consider reading this book.

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