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Allies against the Rising Sun: The United States, the British Nations, and the Defeat of Imperial Japan (Modern War Studies) Hardcover – October 27, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700616691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700616695
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,042,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Sarantakes has ably brought an important historical subject alive for the nonspecialist. A fascinating account, well worth reading." --Washington Times

"A superb analysis of strategic decision making and the interplay of national interests." --Military Review

From the Back Cover

"Brilliantly fills a major void in the literature on the Pacific War. The story that emerges comes alive with a cast of characters as colorful as the new canvas is broad."--Richard B. Frank, author of Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire

"An innovative, penetrating, and thoroughly engaging account that casts familiar strategies, episodes, and personalities in dramatically new light."--Michael Schaller, author of Douglas MacArthur

"A powerful and immensely readable history that reminds us that the United States was not the only nation involved in the final defeat of Japan."--David Day, author of Menzies and Churchill at War

"A masterful study written with wit and verve."--Roger Dingman, author of Ghost of War and Deciphering the Rising Sun

More About the Author

Nicholas Evan Sarantakes is a historian, specializing in the World War II and Cold War eras. He is a professor in the strategy and policy department at the U.S. Naval War College. He grew up in various parts of the United States--and some foreign countries--courtesy of his father's military career.

While an undergraduate at the University of Texas, he worked for the school paper, "The Daily Texan," which at the time was the biggest college daily in the country. While there, he discovered that he had some talent at writing. Always a fan of history, the courses he took from Robert A. Divine inspired him to become a historian himself. Long story made short--he has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Southern California.

Despite this academic training, Sarantakes thinks of himself primarily as a writer and is constantly trying to stretch as a professional. Most of his publications have come in history, but he occasionally works in journalism. He also reviews fiction and non-fiction for the "Sacramento Book Review" and the "San Francisco Book Review." He has written articles that have appeared in outlets such the "English Historical Review" (a British academic journal), "Joint Forces Quarterly" (a professional military magazine), and ESPN.com. He has won five writing awards: the H. Bailey Carroll Award from the Texas State Historical Association, the Kiley Prize from the National Defense University Foundation, and a Bronze Pen Award and two Silver Pen Awards from the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College. Sarantakes is also the chair of a book prize committee for the American Historical Association, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

His first three books have focused on World War II in the Pacific and its aftermath. His fourth book will be on the 1980 Olympic boycott. Before arriving at the Naval War College, he taught at Texas A&M University--Commerce, the Air War College, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schranck on December 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've had a keen interest for years on the relationship of these two countries as they struggled to defeat the Axis in Europe and Africa. There has been many fine books written on the subject in this theater but this is the first study I've found that devotes a whole book on the relationship in the Pacific against the Japanese.

This book tries to answer three major questions related to British participation in the closing stages of the Pacific War. Why did Great Britain wish to take part in the invasion of Japan and other operations around the home islands. Why did the Commonwealth nations wish to contribute, given that their people wanted to demobilize as soon as possible. Why did the US agree to British and Commonwealth participation in these closing operations.
It was believed at high levels of government of both countries that if there were to be cooperation between the US and Britain after the war, Britain would have to earn its position and fight to the end. It was believed that the US government and its people would turn on Britain if it tried to reclaim lost colonies like Singapore while the US finished the war.

A key issue of this book in answering those questions is the presentation of the key people that reflected the sentiments for and against the issues discussed. A small list of people discussed in this book include Truman, Churchill, Eden, Brooke, Cunningham, Portal, Marshall, MacArthur, Mountbatten, Nimitz and others. The author does an excellent job of portraying the personal side as well as their military or political side of these people. While there were disputes between the two countries, there were even more disputes between Churchill and his Chiefs as to the prosecution of the Pacific War.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on January 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
There are many excellent histories of World War II in the Pacific Theater, especially Ronald Spector's superb "Eagle Against the Sun," so one may appropriately ask why do qwe need another account. We do because of all of the new material in this book and its shift of emphasis from the American effort to its relationship with its allies in the Pacific. What "Allies Against the Rising Sun" one does is add to the already well-known story the efforts of the British, and its allies and colonies, to defeat Imperial Japan. Earlier works tend to wave a hand at the British role but fail to explore the process of decision and execution in this coalition war. This was sometimes a difficult process, but in the end these allies remained allied because of necessity and they found ways to settle internal disputes.

As author Nicholas Evan Sarantakes points out, British leaders such as Churchill believed that defeat of the Japanese deserved a near equal priority with Germany because he wanted to hold on to the British Empire in Asia and the Pacific. British principalities in the region also enthusiastically supported allied efforts because of internal priorities--independence for one--while the Americans welcomed allies to help defeat the Japanese but were concerned about the price of this aid. In the end, operations against the Japanese were hindered by allied squabbling, some of it nothing more than personality conflicts.

This is a strong history that does a good job with diplomacy, politics, and military operations.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Warren J. Arnett on June 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being eighty-five I have lived, and served, through the times this book covers. The author skillfully provides a view rather than a viewpoint of the political moves in a wartime setting providing character examinations I can easily accept. Intriguing!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MBS on November 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My title says it all. The book is extremely and possibly unnecessarily detailed. I found myself reading laborious sentences, and then asking myself, "What did I just read?" There is no question this is an excellent in depth history from a British perspective and with a British emphasis, but I suggest this book for those who really want to drill down to microscopic detail. I found it a little dry and frankly, I didn't finish it.
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