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Killing the Rising Sun: How America…

Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan

by Bill O'Reilly

Series: Killing (6)

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Found this book to be very interesting and quite informative.Was generally familiar with he the happenings in the Pacific during WWII was not aware of the Russian influence in Manchuria that resulted in the conclusion to the war along with other interesting historical tidbits along the way. Very easy to read. Sa ( )
  66usma | Apr 18, 2017 |
"Killing the Rising Sun" is a quick, easy, and informative read that maintained my interest throughout. It does not quite rise to the "can't put it down" level but it is close.

The book does not follow developments through in an uninterrupted manner. For example, the two-page introduction describes a conversation between Alexander Sachs, an emissary from Albert Einstein, and President Franklin Roosevelt about the need to develop the atomic bomb. Chapter one then turns to the landing of the U. S. Marine's on Peleliu. Chapter two jumps to General MacArthur's return to the Philippine Islands. And so it goes, jumping from topic to topic: from Harry Truman's barnstorming for Roosevelt's reelection to the ritual suicide to Major General Kenjiro Murai and Colonel Kunio Nakagawa on Peleliu to a description of Emperor Hirohito and his place in Japanese culture. Each topic is treated in a brief chapter before moving on.

"Killing the Rising Sun" is best regarded as historical fiction rather than as a well documented historical accounting of the events covered. Numerous footnotes amplify points mentioned on the page, but no source is provided documenting the main text or the footnotes. Slightly more than four pages of sources are listed at the end of the book but these are merely the names of books and other documents. No attempt is made to tie this reading list to any of the claims made in the text.

Instead, the authors take poetic license to describe what the characters saw and were thinking at the time. Joseph Stalin says, "I am glad to hear it," when President Truman informs him that the U. S. has developed the atomic bomb but Stalin is actually "panicked." Emperor Hirohito is "morose" as he walks in his garden, contemplating the destruction of Hiroshima. Douglas MacArthur is "appalled" when he hears the U. S. has bombed Hiroshima. His distress is not because of the significance of the event but because President Truman has not consulted him and because MacArthur wanted the honor of leading the largest invasion in history. He reasoned that his invasion of Japan would involve more troops and be more prestigious than the Normandy invasion in Europe. This approach and the relatively short chapters contribute to the readability of the book and keep the reader interested.

I learned little of factual significance by reading, "Killing the Rising Sun." There are numerous historical treatments of the events covered in this book that are better documented and more complete in their coverage. Nevertheless, I found this book to be quite interesting and I had no difficulty maintaining my interest and enthusiasm throughout the book. ( )
  Tatoosh | Feb 7, 2017 |
I think a more appropriate title for the book is Killing the Rising Sun: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb On Japan. I think the authors made a good case that the dropping of the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was regrettable but necessary. The Japanese Government through its Emperor showed very little inclination to surrender even when its occupied islands (Okinawa, Iwo Jima) were invaded and recovered by the Allies.

The book also covers the atrocities committed by the Japanese on Chinese civilians and US prisoners of war. Documented are stories of heroism on both sides. The horrors inflicted on the citizens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are grimly told too.

There are far better history books about the end of the war against Japan but this is very readable and well written. ( )
  writemoves | Jan 30, 2017 |
This book is about the end of World War II (WWII) and mostly about the Pacific Theater portion involving the US and Japan. Because the book starts so late into the war, I wish the authors had provided a prologue or preface that outlined pertinent parts of the war up until this time. For example: how did Japan and Germany align on the same side of the war?, When did Pearl Harbor happen? How Pearl Harbor signaled the U.S.'s entry into the war. I also wish there had been a bit more focus on the Japanese mindset: "saving face", Bushido, Samurai history etc. that would shed some light on why the Japanese would probably not surrender easily.

Overall, I liked the book and found it moved along quickly. I learned much about WWII that I did not already know. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jan 7, 2017 |
Bill O'Reilly's best selling book details the events that led to the bombing of Hiroshima.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Jan 2, 2017 |
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Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor. This book takes readers to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan. Across the globe in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists are preparing to test the deadliest weapon known to mankind. In Washington, DC, Harry Truman ascends to the presidency after FDR dies in office, only to face the most important political decision in history: whether to use that weapon. And in Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito, who is considered a deity by his subjects, refuses to surrender, despite a massive and mounting death toll. This epic saga details the final moments of World War II like never before.--Adapted from dust jacket.… (more)

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