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August 27, 1995|CHARLES SOLOMON

HIROSHIMA by John Hersey (Vintage: $4.50; 152 pp.). As the celebrations marking the end of WW II wind down, Hersey's study of the destruction of Hiroshima and its aftermath takes on a new relevance. Hersey follows five men and women who were going about their daily business when the bomb fell. He describes not only the horrors that followed the blast, but how those experiences permanently altered the lives of his subjects. This elegantly spare book provides a sobering reminder that victory over Japan came at an enormous price--a price many continue to pay.

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