The Voyage of the Lucky Dragon
by Ralph E. Lapp
Shakespeare Head Press, 1958, [First Edition], b/w photographic plates, maps, illustrated end-papers, red-toned top fore-edge, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, minor edge and shelf wear, dustjacket has some repairs, bumped corners and edge and shelf wear
'This moving and frightening book is a factual account, by a writer-physicist, of the voyage of the Japanese trawler Fukuryu Maru (The Lucky Dragon) which, with a crew of twenty-three fishermen aboard, was caught in the fall-out of a hydrogen bomb exploded on Bikini Atoll in March 1954. The ship was 100 miles from the explosion, outside the official danger area, when Suzuki, one of the crew, saw a multi-coloured ball of fire rising from the horizon, raced down to the after cabin and blurted out, "The sun rises in the West!" Minutes later, the thunder of an ocean-shaking blast seemed to explode through the ship. No one on board was hurt, but all were terrified. The skies became misty with a strange whitish ash which swirled down on the decks and on the men themselves.
Although Ralph Lapp's researches into the Lucky Dragon story led in time to our present knowledge of radioactive fall-out, this is not a technological treatise. It is the dramatic, human chronicle of a tiny ship and her simple crew, on whom catastrophe broke from the skies - with effects that may yet determine the future of mankind. In the author's words, "When men a hundred miles from an explosion can be killed by the silent touch of the bomb, the world suddenly becomes too small a sphere for man to clutch the atom." '