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Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold Paperback – January 17, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; Revised edition (January 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844675319
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844675319
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Seagraves, bestselling authors (Lords of the Rim, etc.), contend that Japan systematically looted the entire continent of Asia during WWII, seizing billions in precious metals, gems and artworks. Further, according to the authors, from war's end to the present, the looted treasure, used by President Truman to create a secret slush fund to fight communism, has had a malignant effect on American and Asian politics. The Seagraves assert that the Japanese imperial family, along with Ferdinand Marcos, every American president from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, and numerous sinister figures on the American hard right have been tainted and in many cases utterly corrupted by the loot. Postwar efforts to recover and exploit the treasure, according to the Seagraves, involved murders, dishonest deals and cover-ups. Readers who want to examine the full range of sources for this controversial account are referred in the book to the authors' Web site, where two CDs containing "more than 900 megabytes" of supporting documentation are available. But a paradox affecting conspiracy histories such as this one is the authors' frequent insistence that the malefactors have suppressed relevant evidence. Conceptual difficulties of this sort make it impossible for the lay reader to judge this book's credibility, even while one is swept up in the high-intensity story the Seagraves tell. FYI: The authors claim that in consequence of their revealing the existence of the slush fund and its resulting "global network of corruption," they have received "veiled death threats."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Announcing they might be murdered for writing this book, the Seagraves proceed to tell an involved story about Japanese plunder from World War II that, never returned to its rightful owners, underwrites political slush funds and other financial legerdemain conducted by American and Japanese power brokers. According to the cognoscenti, some of the boodle is called the M-Fund, after the initial of a Douglas MacArthur crony who set it up; the gold behind it, in turn, was secreted in the Philippines under the supervision of the imperial Japanese family. The Seagraves, reputable authors of East Asian histories, advance considerable sourcing for their claims, some of which, however, rely precariously on the word of single individuals, while others are anonymous. It is, therefore, a challenge for the reader to decide what's true here, such as the authors' explosive assertion that Richard Nixon exchanged a political promise (returning Okinawa to Japan) for money from the M-Fund. In any event, the Seagraves' tale of treasure hunting, war crimes, and skulduggery will prompt some head scratching. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Sterling Seagrave (born 1937) is the author of thirteen non-fiction histories and biographies, many co-authored with his wife, Peggy Seagrave. He grew up in Asia, in the remote Golden Triangle opium country on the Burma-China border, when Burma was still part of British India. He is in the 5th generation of American medical missionaries, teachers, and doctors who first came to Burma in 1832. He was in Burma when it was invaded by Japan in 1942, but with other family members were aboard the last refugee ship to India. His father, bestselling author of Burma Surgeon and Burma Surgeon Returns, was General Stilwell's chief medical officer in the CBI Theater. In 1947-8 when Britain gave Burma its independence, multiple civil wars broke out that continue today, and led to a military dictatorship still in power now. He was educated at a boarding school in India, then later in North and South America. In 1958, he dropped out of college and went to Cuba, age 21, as a stringer for the Chicago Daily News, instead helping Fidelistas in Pinar del Rio move ammunition and medicines brought by smuggling boats from the Florida Everglades. Since age 18, he has been a journalist at various newspapers including four years at The Washington Post. In 1965 he resigned to freelance throughout Asia for magazines including TIME, LIFE, Newsweek, Esquire, GEO, Atlantic, and Smithsonian. In 1979, he began writing investigative books, about the secret use of chemical and biological weapons, followed by a series of books on the powerful dynastic families of Asia, revealing their true histories disguised by propaganda and hagiographies. Death threats from Taiwan followed publication of The Soong Dynasty, a nationwide bestseller and top choice of the Book of the Month Club. The film option was purchased by George Roy Hill and Paul Newman. Next came books about Japan's looting of Asia in WW2, and how the treasure "vanished" when it was secretly recovered by the CIA to bribe foreign dictators and oligarchs. More death threats caused him to move to Europe in 1985 with Peggy Seagrave. They are now French citizens, writing their fourteenth book. Many have been bestsellers in multiple languages, including Mongol. In France, Seagrave has published three French editions in Paris, and has had long interviews in Paris Match, Nouvel Observateur, and Valeurs Actuel. They lived on a sailboat for ten years, then moved ashore to restore a 13th C stone wine-cave first built by the Knights Templar. It is surrounded by vineyards, with fine views of the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean. They have spent 17 years restoring it, while continuing to research and write books. They are now working on film projects, as well, including a major documentary film about his father, being produced by a Chinese film company; Seagrave's father was chief surgeon both for Stilwell's American forces, and Chinese armies retaking Burma from Japan. So the "Burma Surgeon" is a legendary figure in China as well.

Customer Reviews

Seagrave's did an astounding amount of research to write this book.
Research Reader
This was kindof hard to read with all the names of Japan's and other names but the book was very informative of what happened to the gold.
Leon Oduin
I happened to buy this book perchance while casually browsing the non-fic section at an airport.
Shashank Tripathi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 144 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is earth-shattering and faith-shaking, a well-documented tale of deceit at the highest levels of the US government. So controversial and potentially explosive are the findings of this book, to wit, that the White House recovered most of the Nazi and Japanese loot and created a secret slush fund for covert political operations world-wide, that the authors go the extra mile and offer, at a nominal price, two CD-ROMS containing 60,000 pages of supporting documentation including the Japanese treasure maps used by the US to recover the gold and other valuables.
Major players include Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Nixon, both Allen and John Foster Dulles, Douglas MacArthur, John McCloy, and the famous unconventional warrior Edward Lansdale. What we learn from this book is that those writing about "blowback" (the consequences of unwise US actions) have barely scratched the surface. What we learn is that rather than truly seeking to help the Japanese, Chinese, and other looted nations recover in the aftermath of WWII, the most senior leaders of the US government, no doubt with the best of intentions, actually conspired with Nazi bankers and the Japanese imperial family to create a Black Eagle Trust controlled by a very select hand-picked cabal in Washington.
Originally used to fight communism, the Black Eagle Trust, according to the authors and as thoroughly documented by the book and the two CD-ROMS (which I am happy to have in hand), quickly became a global slush fund used to bribe national leaders and manipulate elections around the world. This fund remains in existence today, making the Swiss Holocaust funds seem like loose-change.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Shashank Tripathi on February 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I don't know what angers me more: the absolutely startling facts unraveled in this book, or the sad reality that such jaw-dropping research is at a sub-15000 ranking in terms of sales on Amazon and has garnered only 3 reviews.
I happened to buy this book perchance while casually browsing the non-fic section at an airport. Now I recall my hair standing on its end as I read it on my flight. The only other book I recall seething with anger with while reading was "The Rape of Nanking".
"Gold Warriors" is more than a nail in the coffin of Japan's "serious, sober and deliberate" plundering of Asia's treasure from 1895 until 1945, and its collusion after the war with American officials to recover and use the loot as a secret political action slush fund to denounce communism. It is in fact a journey into the darkest recesses of history and the human soul.
The authors are not afraid to name names, and the excruciatingly detailed research is a marvel. The sheer scale and limits of the underlying deceit are mind blowing.
Some very minor observations. The authors may know their Philippines well, but their statements on Japan could be corrected. The book has some minor errors (that I could figure out) --
(1) The Japanese ship they repeatedly call the "Huzi" should actually be "Fuji"
(2) The important Japanese Sea port is "Maizuru" not "Maisaru"
(3) "Tairiki" is not a Japanese word: they probably meant "Tairiku Ronin", i.e., a Continental adventurer (in reference to Chinese carpetbaggers)
(4) Their mysterious "Lord Ichivara" should most likely be "Ishihara" (Ichivara is somewhat implausible)
Anyway, these are minor cavils. I highly recommend this book for any one interested in the shenanigans of power, it will leave you aghast. If this piques your interest, click over to the website bowstring.net and download two CD full of documents etc.
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Federico Baldassarre on October 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In 1947, Gen. Douglas MacArthur ordered the immediate termination of all investigations of Japanese war crimes and the immediate suspension of the arrest of any suspected war criminals.
In June 2000, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) said, "You mean our federal government can just say, 'To hell with you, Bataan Death Marchers, and you people who were mistreated (by the Japanese), we are just going to waive all your rights.'"
As disturbing and painful as it may be to read, this is a book all victims of the Japanese, and their next of kins, must read. It's documentation and research is beyond reproach. For many of us, this book will be our 'fall from innocence', if that is still possible.
Fred Baldassarre
Son of a Bataan Survivor
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By R. C. O'Brien on October 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely astonishing book - and while one fellow above bashed the supporting references, I note that he didn't delve into the 2 CDs of supporting material (such as scans of maps made by the Japanese military showing where the gold was hidden in the Phillipines & all the boobytraps).

A lot of this makes sense, intuitively. For example, where in the heck did Ferdinand & Imelda Marcos get all of that wealth? I've read that they "looted the Phillipine people" - hello? Where did the Phillipine people get billions of dollars (American) to loot in the first place?

Secondly, if you read more about how the world's economy was changed fundamentally after World War II, this book provides some missing pieces. It's a brilliant strategy, really - the USA essentially cornering the market on gold, forcing the rest of the world to adopt gold (and pegging it to the dollar) as the new standard, and thus, you are left with (for all practical purposes) endless funds for covert wars against Communist/ leftist regimes.

Why people are shocked by this is puzzling. In the 1950's and 1960's it wasn't considered any sort of problem to be meddling in the world's politics; and the history of US involvement repressing elections in Latin America is well documented. And we won't even get into some of the covert actions (like Iran-Contra) that we KNOW about, so an educated student of history has to assume there are far more details than we have even been told.

Back to the book, the story about how Nixon eventually surrenders control of the secret gold to the Japanese power structure in exchange for covert funds for his presidential campaign sure sounds like the Nixon we are all familiar with.

This is an extraordinary book, one can only wonder how many more details will surface in upcoming years...
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