Herbert Sussan's film crew took the only color film footage of the aftermath of the atomic bombings. The U.S. government suppressed the footage for decades, but it continued to haunt Herbert Sussan until his death in 1985. The author, his daughter, followed his footsteps to Japan and listened to the survivors whom he had filmed. Together, these accounts weave a picture of the human cost of nuclear war.
Early reviewers are praising Choosing Life --
From Readers' Favorites, this 5-star review: "[T]his book isn't only about Hiroshima/Nagasaki--it's a story about humanity and how it is fragile yet strong it is at the same time. Whether you approve or disapprove of nuclear war/weapons, this account may cause you to ponder the ramifications; some that last a lifetime and beyond for generations to come. Some readers may come away thinking that if the general public had been allowed to view the footage Sussan captured years ago, nations might be less war-hungry today, and there would be more of an outcry against nuclear arms. At the time of the bombings, most people supported it, though since then, that support has decreased. Choosing Life: My Father’s Journey in Film from Hollywood to Hiroshima by Leslie A. Sussan is a book of substance. Read at your own risk." - Tammy Ruggles
From Samuel Pickands, Maj., USA (ret): "Choosing Life brings together generations and cultures: the voice a soldier of humble means and unique ambition who came to play a central role in the recording and documentation of Hiroshima, the musings and accounts of his pacifist daughter who opposed yet loved him a generation later, and . . . the stories and glimpses of some of those who survived the nuclear bombings that concluded WWII. . . . This book belongs in our archives as a companion to the records of nuclear conflict, the legacy of a (thus far successful) American and international peace movement, and a selection of first-person voices from a complex and dark part of our history. As a veteran who still struggles to balance the perspectives of my dogged yet sunny WWII veteran grandparents and a hard bitten and cynical Vietnam veteran stepfather, I prize this book as both a source of answers and questions."