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Comment: Former library book. Pages are smooth and clear, with minimal folds or creases. No markings or labels other than on covers, title pages and book edges. Minor to moderate surface and edge wear to dust jacket includes wrinkle to edges. *** Ships from Amazon! Thanks!
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Rescued by Mao: World War II, Wake Island, and My Remarkable Escape to Freedom Across Mainland China Hardcover – May 28, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Silverleaf Press (May 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933317876
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933317878
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Taylor's vivid recollection of nearly four years as a Japanese prisoner during WWII would have benefited from a tactful editor, but still remains riveting. An octogenarian and the former mayor of North Las Vegas, Taylor shipped out to Wake Island, 2,000 miles west of Oahu, Hawaii, as a civilian construction worker in 1941. He and more than a thousand other civilians assumed that the U.S. would evacuate them after Pearl Harbor, but the Japanese proved them wrong upon conquering the island two weeks later. Taylor's ordeal began with a stroke of luck: the Japanese transported him and most of his colleagues to a POW camp in China, later killing those remaining on Wake. There followed more than three years of starvation, disease, beatings and hard labor until, in May 1945, Taylor escaped and lucked out again when he ran into Mao Zedong's Communist forces, who guided him to safety. Taylor is best describing day-to-day events, rather than when he pauses to explain his religious views or Japanese culture. He credits his survival to God, but his gripping account makes it clear that he possessed both a tenacious will and entrepreneurial talent. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Taylor was a civilian contractor working on Wake Island when, on December 8, 1941, the Japanese attacked. After a harrowing, brave, but futile defense, the U.S. Marines surrendered and Taylor spent the next three-and-a-half years in various prison camps on mainland China. When conditions in his camp became intolerable, Taylor escaped, was recaptured, and then escaped again and was eventually rescued by Chinese troops commanded by Mao Zedong in northern China. This is an exciting account of those years, characterized by bravery, suffering, and endurance. Unfortunately, Taylor fills the first part of the book with a tedious account of his young life before 1941, and the effect is similar to watching a neighbor's home movies. Once he arrives on Wake Island, however, the action becomes intense and riveting. His description of life in POW camps reveals the brutality and sometimes outright sadism of his captors. His escapes are described in minute detail and are brimming with dramatic tension. This is a worthy, if uneven, story of one man's struggle for survival that is readable and often thrilling. Freeman, Jay
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Fisher VINE VOICE on May 28, 2007
In 'Rescued By Mao,' author and survivor William Taylor recounts his own experiences as a Wake Island contractor, defender, prisoner of the Japanese and escapee.

Taylor's journey is a lesson in strength, survival, a positive attitude and faith. Most stories, especially those of POWs, reveal a certain 'trick' or 'technique' that these men used to overcome overwhelming experiences. Taylor's was his faith. Taylor found a solid testimony in his original faith in the LDS Church amidst the horrors of the Japanese Capture of Wake Island.

Born to a prominent Mormon family, Taylor lost his way for a time following his father's death during the Great Depression, but a friend and fellow contractor at Wake helped him renew his faith. Beyond Taylor's religious restoration, the story is indeed a well written first-hand account of the American POW experience. Taylor seems to have fared better in Japanese captivity than some of his fellow prisoners, parlaying some of his bad habits for valuable resources like food or clothing.

He gives a fair evaluation of the Japanese who imprisoned him, the Chinese who both helped and hindered his escape and the American leadership that surrendered him along with many less willing others. Taylor gives credit to Commander Winfield Cunningham, the Wake Island Navy commander for the early military successes, but is critical of Admiral Pye, (the interim Pacific Commander following Admiral Kimmel`s dismissal) and his abandonment of the garrison calling him a "complete failure."

The American pre-war intelligence about possible Japanese intentions in the Pacific is also a contentious subject for Taylor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Russell L. Gray on March 2, 2008
Bill Taylor brings to the public record an unusual true World War II story which begins in 1941 with his capture on Wake Island following the bombing of Pearl Harbor to his eventual freedom in Yeuan, China in 1945. It is illustrated with drawings made by a fellow-prisoner artist who was incarcerated with him, Bill carefully concealed these drawings to avoid detection by his captors. The story provides high adventure, suspense, and remarkable escapes from his captors on more than one occasion. Bill finally ends up in the hands of Mao Zedong, Chairman of China's rising Communist Party who brought him back in contact with U.S. forces. You won't put this book down once you start reading it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on November 22, 2013
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WONDERFUL INSPIRING true story that will put life in perspective and bring out the gratitude of anyone and share parts of our history you may not know. A must read!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Darrell on November 10, 2011
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By Darrell Stoddard, darrellstoddard@gmail.com

I knew William Taylor personally and heard him tell his story in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing China before the book was written. Then I learned that he lived less than a mile from my home. The reason Taylor was in China is part of this great saga of survival. Taylor and his wife were in England serving as missionaries for the LDS Church. While in England, Taylor met a man from China and showed him his picture (on the cover of the book) with Mao Zedong. The man from China returned to China where he showed the photo of Taylor and Mao to Chinese government officials in Beijing. They extended an invitation for Taylor and his wife to return, as guests of the government, to China and visit the places where Taylor had been as an escapee from the Japanese prison. It was on that visit that I heard Taylor tell his story.

From Taylor's book and from his talk in Beijing, I learned almost unknown facts about Chinese History in World War 2 and the ensuing events following the war that must be told. When Taylor made his escape out of North China, he was flown immediately to the Pentagon. Because Taylor had met and been with the armies of both generals, Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek, in his escape across China, he was asked the question, "Who is going to take over China after the war with Japan? Would it be Mao Zedong or Chiang Kai-shek? Both leaders had armies that were fighting the Japanese and it was common knowledge that there would be a power struggle between the two after the war to see who would rule China.

Taylor's answer was this: The people love Mao Zedong and they hate Chiang Kai-shek. Mao Zedong's soldiers were not allowed to even take a chicken from a peasant without paying for it.
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