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Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath Paperback – March 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Michael thinks of himself as a non-fiction story teller, a writer who collects the thousands of details necessary to make a true story come to life on the page. For "Tears In The Darkness: The Story of The Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath," he as his co-author, his wife, Elizabeth M. Norman, interviewed more than 400 people, among them former soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army and scores of Filipinos who witnessed the death march. The Normans traveled to Asia four times across ten years and collected some 2,800 books, documents, photographs and other material from archives around the world to complete the story of Bataan and the death march and to make it a three-dimensional experience for the reader.
ELIZABETH Norman is the daughter of two World War II veterans. Her father served with the U.S. Army in Europe in 1944; her mother was in uniform with the U.S. Coast Guard. Beth began her professional career as a registered nurse before turning to the study of history and writing. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University (where she and Michael met and were married). She earned her graduate and doctoral degrees from New York University, then joined the tenured faculty there in 1998. She currently is a professor in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Development and Education where she teaches history, writing and research design in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
In 1990, Beth published her first book, Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam 1965-1973, (University of Pennsylvania Press). She followed this with We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Women Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese (1999, Random House.) Both books are still in print. Her work on We Band of Angels led her to look at the larger story of the battle for Bataan and the Bataan Death March, an inquiry that led to Tears in the Darkness. She has won a number of awards for her work, among them an Official Commendation from the Department of the Army, and a Certificate of Appreciation from the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
Michael and Elizabeth Norman spent ten years researching and interviewing for "Tears In The Darkness." They made four trips to Asia and crossed America several times for the book. They have two grown sons, Joshua and Benjamin, and a daughter-in-law, Rachel Cahn Norman. For most of their married life, the Normans have lived in Montclair N. J.
Top Customer Reviews
As the son of a navy vet who served on an escort carrier in the Pacific and saw action at Macon Island, Tarawa, and later at Leyte Gulf, I found Tears in the Darkness very moving. I've read extensively about the Pacific war and in many ways still haven't forgiven the Japanese for what they caused. Political Correctness be-gone.
The Normans focus on a young American who happened to be serving in the Army Air Corps when the war began. Focusing on Ben Steele allows the authors to use his experiences to study the wider specifics of the Bataan death marches and the POWs later treatment in the camps. With information gleaned from more that 400 interviews and many of Steele's pen and ink drawings, they provide the readers of a later era a revealing glimpse into what true torture is. No water boarding here. Starved, deprived of water, beaten, and allowed to die of horrendous diseases, Americans and their Pilipino allies, suffered and died together.
By traveling to Japan to interview the few guards still alive, the Normans provide an authoritative element to the story they want to tell. Without allowing the Japanese an easy out, the authors do provide background that at least helps to explain the level of brutality suffered by the captives. No alibis here.....just facts about how the Japanese chain of command worked. Interesting.
I also recommend We Refused to Die by Gene S. Jacobsen as a companion read.
I highly recommend Tears in the Darkness.
The authors have included not only the entire history of the death march and imprisonment, but also the consequences of these things on individuals, especially Montana's courageous Army Air Force enlistee Ben Steele, one of the few who survived.
There was one episode that was particularly telling. After the war Steele became an art professor, and the day came when a Japanese-American student entered his class, and all the horror and bitterness and desolation of his three years of imprisonment rushed back into Steele's mind. But then he learned that the student's Japanese-American family had been interned here in the States. Steele invited the student into his office for a heart-to-heart talk, and out of it came reconciliation. Ben Steele treated his Japanese student with all the fairness he could muster. Other readers will discover other treasures in this powerful and luminous history. But no reader will finish the book unchanged.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One could almost write a book about the book, so moving and well done is this account of one of the worst atrocities ever committed during modern warfare. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Scott Hedegard
The book I received had the pages mixed up from about page 327 to 357. It's not easy to go 3 page forward then come back 2 pages in order to read the book and enjoy the book. Read morePublished 15 days ago by wayne kessler
The story is wonderful, my husband has met one of the gentlemen who was in that march, survived and helped write it. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Andrea L Davis
The book itself, is good -- I would have liked to finish it. After page 225 or 227, however, the pages were scrambled, such that the text on one [page did not follow to the next. Read morePublished 2 months ago by amh
My mentor was a naval captain who survived this tragic piece of history. He was a kind, considerate and passionate Navy officer. He had a profound influence on my life. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sandy
excellent book. loved how they placed people from both sides in the story of Ben. can't believe how brutal the Japanese were. excellent read.Published 2 months ago by eugene f dunham III
Interesting story. Lots of detail in this book. It looks at the viewpoint from the Japanese side too. My hats off to all those who serve!Published 3 months ago by mitchswy
Gave this as gift to a man who's grandfather survived the Bataan death march, lived through it, and 4 years later came home forever changed. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jennifer Jones