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.
"A powerful new work of history and moral inquiry. Chang takes great care to establish an accurate accounting of the dimensions of the violence."
Nien Cheng, author of Life and Death in Shanghai
"Meticulously researched ... A gripping account that holds the readers attention from beginning to end."
Beatrice S. Bartlett, professor of history, Yale University
"Iris Changs 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."
Frederic Wakeman, director of the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
"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."
George F. Will, syndicated columnist
"Something beautiful, an act of justice, is occurring in America today concerning something ugly that happened long ago.... Because of Changs book, the second rape of Nanking is ending."
Orville Schell, The New York Times Book Review
"In her important new book ... Iris Chang, whose own grandparents were survivors, recounts the grisly massacre with understandable outrage."
Ross Terrill, author of Mao, China in Our Time, and Madame Mao
"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."
The New York Times bestselling account of one of history's most brutal -- and forgotten -- massacres, when the Japanese army destroyed China's capital city on the eve of World War II
In December 1937, one of the most horrific atrocities in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking (what was then the capital of China), and within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered. In this seminal work, Iris Chang, whose own grandparents barely escaped the massacre, tells this history from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers, that of the Chinese, and that of a group of Westerners who refused to abandon the city and created a safety zone, which saved almost 300,000 Chinese.
Drawing on extensive interviews with survivors and documents brought to light for the first time, Iris Chang's classic book is the definitive history of this horrifying episode.
"Chang vividly, methodically, records what happened, piecing together the abundant eyewitness reports into an undeniable tapestry of horror." - Adam Hochschild, Salon
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 murdereda 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.
Table of Contents
Foreword by William C. Kirby
1. The Path to Nanking
2. Six Weeks of Terror
3. The Fall of Nanking
4. Six Weeks of Horror
5. The Nanking Safety Zone
6. What the World Knew
7. The Occupation of Nanking
8. Judgment Day
9. The Fate of the Survivors
10. The Forgotten Holocaust: A Second Rape
Epilogue for the 2011 Edition