Letters and Politics

John Hersey’s ‘Hiroshima’; The Voting Rights Act at 50

Just a year after the US atomic bombing of Japan in 1945, American journalist John Hersey traveled to Japan and wrote a lengthy three-part series for the New Yorker that would become the classic book Hiroshima.

It was the first account of Japanese survivors written in English and it would have a dramatic effect on the popular narrative of the bombing here in the United States and continue to influence the debate on the ethics of such a bombing today.

We’ll talk about the history and influence of the book with Patrick B Sharp, Professor of Liberal Studies at California State University Los Angeles and author of the paper From Yellow Peril to Japanese Wasteland: John Hersey’s “Hiroshima.” 

Then, a legislative history of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, with Civil Rights Lawyer and Law Professor Brian Landsberg. Landsberg is Distinguished Professor of Law at the the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and author of the book Free at Last to Vote: The Alabama Origins of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. 


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