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Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire (1999)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141001461, Paperback)Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire is an impeccably written analysis of the last months of the Pacific War and the unfolding of the American air campaign over Japan. The story opens with a searing description of the fire-bombing of Tokyo in March 1945, which caused more deaths than the atom bomb in Hiroshima. Within five months, Japan's economy was collapsing and the country faced catastrophic starvation. Richard B. Frank coolly analyzes different scenarios for ending the war (Russia waited in the wings). Frank concludes that the emperor and the Japanese military were far from ready to surrender, and that the decision to use the atom bomb probably saved millions of lives, not only Allied but Japanese and other Asian lives, also--perhaps a hundred thousand Chinese were dying each month under Japanese occupation. The effects of the bomb worked on many levels, even lending faces to the Japanese militarists, who could convince themselves that they were defeated not by a lack of spiritual power but by superior science. Densely documented, intelligently argued, Downfall recreates the end of the war from the viewpoints of the principals, giving the book an unusual immediacy. A highly valuable insight into the disintegration of the Japanese Empire, one of the most dramatic episodes of World War II. --John Stevenson
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:02 -0400)
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