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The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II Paperback – January 10, 2012
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"In her important new book, The Rape of Nanking, Iris Chang, whose own grandparents were survivors, recounts the grisly massacre with understandable outrage."―New York Times
"Chang's account, based on extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, is utterly compelling yet, at the same time, in places unbearable to read."―Foreign Affairs
"Chang vividly, methodically, records what happened, piecing together the abundant eyewitness reports into an undeniable tapestry of horror."―Adam Hochschild, Salon
"A powerful new work of history and moral inquiry. Chang takes great care to establish an accurate accounting of the dimensions of the violence."―Chicago Tribune
"Iris Chang's research on the Nanking holocaust yields a new and expanded telling of this World War II atrocity and reflects thorough research. The book is excellent; its story deserves to be heard."―Beatrice S. Bartlett, professor of history, Yale University
"Heartbreaking.... An utterly compelling book. The descriptions of the atrocities raise fundamental questions not only about imperial Japanese militarism but the psychology of the torturers, rapists, and murderers."―Frederic Wakeman, director of the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
"Something beautiful, an act of justice, is occurring in America today concerning something ugly that happened long ago.... Because of Chang s book, the second rape of Nanking is ending."―George F. Will, syndicated columnist
"In her important new book ... Iris Chang, whose own grandparents were survivors, recounts the grisly massacre with understandable outrage."―Orville Schell, The New York Times Book Review
"Anyone interested in the relation between war, self-righteousness, and the human spirit will find The Rape of Nanking of fundamental importance. It is scholarly, an exciting investigation, and a work of passion. In places it is almost unbearable to read, but it should be readonly if the past is understood can the future be navigated."―Ross Terrill, author of Mao, China in Our Time, and Madame Mao
About the Author
Iris Chang graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked briefly as a reporter before winning a graduate fellowship to the writing seminars program at the Johns Hopkins University. She received numerous honors including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Program on Peace and International Cooperation Award, the Woman of the Year Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans, and honorary doctorates from the College of Wooster and California State University at Hayward. Her work appeared in many publications, including Newsweek, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She died in 2004.
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I thought Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot had the corner market on human atrocities, but they had nothing compared to what the Japanese did at Nanking. Nearly 300,000 people raped, mutilated and murdered in a few weeks. A moral outrage of butchery of innocents and the savagery of the Japanese with indisputable evidence that went all the way up to the imperial family.
The acts described in this book are revealing and revolting. The book is an excellent read, captivating and compelling including real life heroes that saved thousands of lives. I was surprised to see this is merely a footnote in history, rarely taught in school and rarely discussed in Japan.
This book is truly a must read.
As for Japanese behavior in Nanking, abhorrent, disgusting, however she explained why it happened, why out of control brutality fomented by adversarial military training, taught slaughter as normal.
In WW I, similar events in Turkey versus Armenia. Current ISIS thugs hiding behind religion as an excuse to brutalize captives and countries. China, 1988' slaughter in Tiamenin Square by Chinese government.
Iris sought justice for Chinese victims, and Japan should step forward with acknowledgment.
Reading war history is ugly regardless of combatants, and this is no different. Bataan is just as ugly as Nanking and it's difficult to understand war crimes, and this is no less ugly.
We, as civilized people should have evolved past barbarianism, though it seems not.
No excuse is offered in this review for Japan, though it's culture has changed, an apology hangs a cloud over Japan's failure to acknowledge brutality.
This history is relevant today as then, and the ease in which an event like this could swell overnight. History repeats itself.
This is sad for all who suffered; consider also, Japanese soldiers who did not participate, were executed or killed themselves, some after they left Nanking.
Iris Chang was an amazingly talented soul and I know it must have been very difficult crawling through all this pain, agony, mire and muck to write this Life Story. I've also seen the movie...I can't remember the name of it for the life of me but it was gut wrenching but of course tailored down for viewer consumption so it doesn't capture the explicit pain detailed in this book. A must read for every human being!! Until we shed light in the dark places vile wars and act such as The Rape of Nanking will continue.
True, I admit that what led to the Nanking Massacre was more complicated than what most people think. It was a result of so many forces coming together: battle fatigue, setback of the original invasion plan, the fact that some Nationalist soldiers were mixing with the crowd of refugees. But this does not, and should not make such cruelty forgiveable. Iris Chang did the world a great favor by catapulting this into world attention. And it takes courage to do that.
I also do not think that the Japanese are born evil. I have many Japanese friends and I respect them as equals. War can make men into beasts and massacres happen, though rare on this scale and largely on unarmed civilians. The problem with Japan was even now they refused to look face to face with what they (or their older generation) had done and this would continue to haunt them and lead them down a path of committing future errors and atrocities.
Most recent customer reviews
IRIS CHANG, BRAVE AND STRONG: She wrote a very accurate documentary and assessment of the Rape of Nanking.Read more