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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
One of WWII's most sensational stories was that of Tokyo Rose: a Japanese radio propagandist who demoralized American soldiers with stories of their wives' infidelity and impossibly accurate knowledge of U.S. troop movements. The Tokyo Rose story thrilled and horrified Americans, especially when an American citizen, Iva Toguri, was arrested for being the nefarious broadcaster-the problem, the U.S. government soon realized, was that Toguri was forced into the position of propagandist, had not actually broken any laws, and had even helped American POWs. Still, public opinion demanded that they prosecute, and she was ultimately convicted of treason. By treating Tokyo Rose, the Pacific legend, and Iva Toguri, the American citizen trapped by circumstance, as separate people, Close reaches into the heart of Cold War tension. Meticulously researched, Close's case explains not only why Toguri was not a traitor, but also why the American people, in a time of desperation, needed to believe she was. The result will prove compelling and readable for those interested in the Pacific theater, propaganda studies, or the history of the Cold War; though lengthy, Close makes his 500-plus pages worthwhile with a rich sense of context and detailed notes.