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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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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
The best book EVER written about the Batan Death March, cruelty, and POW camps. Very thorough, and I felt as though I was getting a good picture of the awful conditions in the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by DebC
A very good book and excellent history of that part of ww11 in the PacificPublished 1 month ago by Neal J. Froese
A truly compelling and memorable story of one of Americas darkest times in World War 2.Published 4 months ago by Terry O'Connor
The best I've read on the subject and with a father who was a P.O.W. of the Japanese, I've read many.
this book is superb in every respect.
Tears in the Darkness is a historical account that should appeal to a wide range of audiences. It reads like a novel, with its characters immediately coming to life, yet its... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cody Northrup
This is an excellent book. The narrative of Ben Steele almost reads like a novel. It's as entertaining as it is informative. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Timothy W. Mcgrath