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The Hunt for "Tokyo Rose" Hardcover – October 1, 1989

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Tokyo Rose" was the name given by GIs to the woman whose radio broadcasts for the Japanese attempted to demoralize American troops in Pacific during World War II . But, as we're told here, there was not just one "Tokyo Rose"; more than two dozen women did the broadcasting, the majority of them Japanese-Americans located, for one reason or another, in Japan. Among them was Iva Toguri, who, trapped in Japan by the war, remained loyal to the U.S. and was the only Tokyo Rose who refused to renounce her American citizenship. Ironically, as Howe ( Mata Hari ) relates in this dramatic, affecting account, that citizenship meant that Toguri was the only Rose who could be charged with treason. While preliminary investigations led to no charges, rabble-rousing by Walter Winchell and others in the press resulted in a trial. Toguri was found guilty and spent eight years in prison, but years later was pardoned by President Ford. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA --A study of one of World War II's most hated personalities. One realizes from the evidence Howe presents that the case against Iva Toguri, identified as Tokyo Rose, was contrived and that the furor over her wartime activities was a combination of journalists wanting to create news and government officials looking for revenge against the Japanese. Howe includes detailed information from F.B.I. files and the testimony of surviving principals involved in the situation. The book reveals that Toguri's broadcasting was not in any way detrimental to U. S. troops; in fact, she was forced by the Japanese to broadcast a show with little more than chitchat and music. The book carries a strong message about the vindictiveness of people under the stress of war, the ability of people to use the U. S. justice system for their own profit, and the power of the press. The book will also make readers reflect on American racism, the constitutional rights of the accused, and the morality of U. S. officials. Highly recommended for students of U. S. government, history, and journalism. --Linda A. Vretos, West Potomac High School, Alexandria, VA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Madison Books; First edition (October 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819174564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819174567
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,371,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Mayo on March 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Six months ago I was traveling along the coast of Washington, when I woke up to the terrible TV scenes of fire and death and collapsing buildings. I wrote my first thoughts in my diary: "As events unfold, I worry of our response. Will internal security become Gestapo like? Will we isolate ourselves? What about our civil rights or the rights of dark guys with beards and robes?" To know what could happen, we only needed to look back to the internment of Japanese-Americans or the case of "Tokyo Rose" (Iva Toguri).
If you are interested in World War II history or the excesses of patriotism, this is a book you should read and keep in your library. Mr. Howe has done a through job gathering the events and as a bonus describes the world of living in an enemy's country. I also value the picture Howe paints of life as a POW in Japan. It's nice that he has humanized some of the Japanese military, even to the point of letting us see that there were good and bad on both sides. Consider, for example, the support Iva received from the fighting GI's and compare it to the pettiness of the (mostly) non-combatant government agents.
Howe's writing style could have been more readable and there were a few errors of fact. (p. 244 Doolittle's first raid was in 1942 and not two years later.) These did not detract excessively.
Our challenge today as Americans is to avoid another case of "Tokyo Rose".
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
I had expected that the author would reveal a lot of what Tokyo Rose actually broadcast and, especially, the effect it had or was expected to have on our troops in the Pacific War. Plus, obviously, some followup on how she was eventually arrested in the U.S., etc. This text is a very good historical and legal account about Tokyo Rose (the one chosen for this book), her biography, her time in Japan, how she got involved, how she was arrested in the U.S. and so on, but the narrative is so detailed that it becomes boring and tends to lose the general reader's interest. On the other hand, if you are interested in Tokyo Rose's life and personal problems, and demand a lot of very detailed and specific biographical and prosecutorial information, this is the book for you. Sorry, not what I was looking for...
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mom B. on November 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
From the Forward by Ramsey Clark to the end of the book one can not help but be startled by the very liberal bias of the writing. It reads like a "do you still beat your wife?" question. Howe uses his literary pulpit to preach a liberal sermon. This is the fourth book he published in the first six months of 1993 -- seems like a rush to judgement. While his conclusions may be correct, his poorly concealed radical disposition destroys the credibility of his arguments. A big disappointment.
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