“Killing the Rising Sun” by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard Book Review

Category: Books and Music

In his newest “killing” book, Bill O’Reilly (along with Martin Dugard) dissects the events and people that were instrumental in the Japanese aggression of World War II. The authors look at several events that were crucial in the war as well as the people involved on both sides of the horrors.

We all know the story of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and we know about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but between these two events that basically bookended the war in the South Pacific, there were plenty of other events that are not as well known, and people who have been delegated to the sidelines of history. This book examines everyone’s parts in this brutal chapter in world history with personal accounts as well as documented statements. Readers will get a well-rounded look at the people and places that made up the war in the Pacific.

From Pearl Harbor to the final battle of the war (between Russia and Japan), the pages are filled with plenty of facts spewed out in a way that makes it appealing to read and interesting to digest. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the situations, many stories may be traumatic for readers to take in. They are horrifying. The inhumanity is unbelievable, yet these events are what happened.

I cannot get rid of the vision of a little Japanese boy carrying his dead infant brother to the place where bodies were cremated, standing at attention while the little body was reduced to ashes, and walking away. It is stories like these that round out the text in this book.

The story of the USS Indianapolis is another aspect of the war that is basically unknown by today’s population. After the Japanese torpedoed the ship, the crew floundered in the water without food or fresh water for four days while sharks picked them off, one by one. Fortunately several men survived and were eventually rescued.

The war did not end with the bombing of Hiroshima. The Japanese were not going to surrender. Civilians were told to fight to the death. But in due time there was a finality to the situation.

General Douglas MacArthur took control of Japan (temporarily). Stalin took a chunk of Eastern Europe. The Soviet Union, once in a fragile alliance with America, became an enemy.

Hirohito, Tojo, MacArthur, and the other notables are discussed in detail. Also under a microscope is Harry Truman, who’s brave decision to release the atomic bombs saved countless American lives, as well as others. With MacArthur ready to invade Japan on the ground, there would have been much more carnage inflicted on American troops as well as the others.

Killing the Rising Sun will definitely have an emotional effect on readers. It is an interesting look at history, well written, and filled with stories that will leave readers thinking and understanding more about the people and events of World War II.

About the Reviewer

Francine Brokaw writes about books, products, travel, and entertainment. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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