Horror In The East

Horror In The East

by Laurence Rees
     
 

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In the tradition of the best-selling Rape of Nanking, a provocative examination of Japanese atrocities during World War II. "Another stunning slice of history from Laurence Rees."-Daily TelegraphSee more details below

Overview

In the tradition of the best-selling Rape of Nanking, a provocative examination of Japanese atrocities during World War II. "Another stunning slice of history from Laurence Rees."-Daily Telegraph

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Based on a film documentary Rees (The Nazis: A Warning from History) produced for the BBC, this chronologically organized book does a nice job of explaining the cultural attitudes and historical events that lay behind Japanese atrocities during World War II, but as a full catalogue it is incomplete. Of six chapters here, the first is devoted to political and historical background on Japan and its war with China during the 1930s, including the rape of Nanking in 1937. The second, "Dealing with the West," covers Japan's aspirations for European-held East Asian colonies (such as Indochina) that led to a U.S.-led oil embargo-and Pearl Harbor. Chapter three centers on the appalling treatment of 100,000 Allied prisoners captured after the quick fall of Singapore in 1942, while "Lurching towards Defeat" offers a view of the Pacific war 1942-1944, including the motivations of Japanese kamikaze pilots (which included "the spiritual faith that after death... their souls would dwell in the emperor's own shrine") and the rationalizations behind other Japanese atrocities. This is certainly the most valuable part of the book, although some explanations seem to go to great lengths to mitigate Japanese actions: Americans and British are unequivocally described as holding racist views in dealing with the Japanese, while "the Japanese treated the Chinese so badly" because they considered them "utterly inferior." A summary of recent academic research on Japanese emperor Hirohito's complicity is also valuable, but Rees's frequent juxtaposition of Allied crimes with those of the Japanese forces will feel apologistic to some readers, and the book does not fully recent scholarship that documents horror on a much larger scale than specifically presented here. (Sept. 19) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306811784
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
09/01/2002
Edition description:
DA CAPO
Pages:
188
Sales rank:
751,290
Product dimensions:
0.56(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Meet the Author

Laurence Rees, the head of historical programs for BBC Television, has been called by the Times of London "Britain's most distinguished producer of historical documentaries." The author of four previous books, he lives in London.

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