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The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War IIby Iris Chang
Synopses & Reviews
In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered — a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written what will surely be the definitive history of this horrifying episode.
The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: of the Japanese soldiers who performed it, of the Chinese civilians who endured it, and of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. Among these was the Nazi John Rabe, an unlikely hero whom Chang calls the Oskar Schindler of China and who worked tirelessly to protect the innocent and publicize the horror. More than just narrating the details of an orgy of violence, The Rape of Nanking analyzes the militaristic culture that fostered in the Japanese soldiers a total disregard for human life. Finally, it tells the appalling story: about how the advent of the Cold War led to a concerted effort on the part of the West and even the Chinese to stifle open discussion of this atrocity. Indeed, Chang characterizes this conspiracy of silence, that persists to this day, as a second rape.
Book News Annotation:
When the Japanese took over the Chinese city of Nanking in late 1937, they instituted a reign of terror and unspeakable violence, torturing and killing 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers in the span of mere weeks, and raping untold numbers of women and forcing them into military prostitution. A handful of Westerners in the city established The Nanking Safety Zone, which included a hospital for victims. Based on primary documents and interviews with survivors, this account integrates the perspectives of the Japanese, the Chinese, and Westerners. Author Chang also discusses the extended silence on the episode, in both China and the West, during the Cold War. The book includes historical b&w photos. This paperback reprint of the 1997 edition contains a new epilogue by the author's widower, which clears up some of the myths and misunderstandings about the author's life, career, mental illness, and suicide. The book was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 15 languages. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This "New York Times" national bestseller recounts the forgotten story of the brutal massacre of 300,000 Chinese civilians by the Japanese army. "Anyone interested in the relation between war, self-righteousness, and the human spirit will find "The Rape of Nanking" of fundamental importance".--Ross Terrill, author of "China in Our Time". of photos.
"In December 1937, in what was then the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking (Na"
In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered—a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written the definitive history of this horrifying episode.
About the Author
Iris Chang lived and worked in California. She was a journalism graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana and worked briefly as a reporter in Chicago before winning a graduate fellowship to the writing seminars program at The Johns Hopkins University. Her first book, Thread of the Silkworm (the story of Tsien Hsue-shen, father of the People’s Republic of China’s missile program) received world-wide critical acclaim. She is the recipient of the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation’s Program on Peace and International Cooperation award, as well as major grants from the National Science Foundation, the Pacific Cultural Foundation, and the Harry Truman Library. She passed away in 2004.
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