Killing the Rising Sun
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 6 Oct 2017
Full Title: Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan
Killing the Rising Sun was Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's attempt to provide a general summary of the final months of the Pacific War. I would cut to the chase: I did not like the book and had a difficult time (though successful) maintaining the discipline to complete the book. From a history perspective, because the authors had chosen such a vast scope, they had to pick and choose topics to include, and in that persuit they made some interesting choices that I would not necessarily agree with. For example, the pages devoted to Iwo Jima and Okinawa seemed to be disproportionally few when compared to Peleliu, which was generally agreed as relatively an inconsequential endeavor. The authors also seemed to have trouble separation drama and fact. In one balatant instance, while describing the Operation Meetinghouse bombing of Tokyo, in one sentence they wrote that the river water was "boiling" due to the intense heat of the conflagration, but a couple of sentences later they talked about dead bodies floating in the "icy waters" of the river. In the forward, O'Reilly wrote that "We live in a time of spin and deception. It is important to know the truth." Was the boiling river the truth, or was the icy river the truth? If I could not trust the authors' description of a simple landscape, could I trust the more complex core material of the book?
I had reviewed this title in its audio book format. Robert Petkoff did a decent job reading.
O'Reilly and Dugard's Killing the Rising Sun would certainly be on my list of books to avoid.
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944