Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima

By Robert Jay Lifton | Go to book overview

three
INVISIBLE CONTAMINATION

1) The "Epidemic"

Soon after the bomb fell--sometimes within hours or even minutes, often during the first twenty-four hours or the following days and weeks--survivors began to notice in themselves and others a strange form of illness. It consisted of nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite; diarrhea with large amounts of blood in the stools; fever and weakness; purple spots on various parts of the body from bleeding into the skin (purpura); inflammation and ulceration of the mouth, throat, and gums (oropharyngeal lesions and gingivitis); bleeding from the mouth, gums, throat, rectum, and urinary tract (hemorrhagic manifestations); loss of hair from the scalp and other parts of the body (epilation); extremely low white blood cell counts when these were taken (leukopenia); and in many cases a progressive course until death.*

These manifestations of toxic radiation effects aroused in the minds of the people of Hiroshima a special terror, an image of a weapon which not only instantly kills and destroys on a colossal scale but also leaves behind in the bodies of those exposed to it deadly influences which may emerge at any time and strike down their victims. This image was made

____________________
*
The gastrointestinal symptoms appeared first and the hemorrhagic manifestations and other bone marrow effects some weeks later, so that the overall syndrome only gradually revealed itself. 1

-57-

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Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction: Research and Researcher 3
  • Hiroshima 13
  • The Atomic Bomb Experience 15
  • Three - Invisible Contamination 57
  • A-Bomb Disease Four 103
  • A-Bomb Man 165
  • Atomic Bomb Leaders 209
  • Residual Struggles: Trust, Peace, and Mastery 253
  • Perceiving America 317
  • Formulation: Self and World 367
  • Creative Response: 1) "A-Bomb Literature" 397
  • Creative Response: 2) Artistic Dilemmas Eleven 451
  • The Survivor Twelve 479
  • Appendix 543
  • Notes 557
  • Index 577
  • List of Survivors Quoted 593
  • About the Author 595
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