A Curious Madness and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading A Curious Madness on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

A Curious Madness: An American Combat Psychiatrist, a Japanese War Crimes Suspect, and an Unsolved Mystery from World War II [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Eric Jaffe , Robertson Dean

RRP: 28.31
Price: 24.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: 3.86 (14%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Usually dispatched within 1 to 3 weeks.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 9.49  
Hardcover 16.74  
MP3 CD, Audiobook 20.17  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, 20 Jan 2014 24.45  

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Audible.co.uk, an Amazon Company, is home to more than 100,000 audiobook downloads. Start a 30-day free trial today and get your first audiobook for FREE.

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed

Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media Inc; Unabridged edition (20 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452618909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452618906
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.7 x 3 cm

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.co.uk.
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WWII Story Worth Reading 17 Jan 2014
By BookVodney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The book revisits WWII by bring forward the saga of a top Japanese war criminal Shumei Okawa who avoided prosecution by means of insanity. The tale begins with post war trials of the "Class A" Japanese command & government war criminals - 28 in all - Hideki Tojo being the most infamous. Okawa was the only civilian & non-government official among those accused for aggression during WWII. He was a writer and intellectual who was credited with influencing the militaristic government of Japan to lead a mission unifying Asia against the West. Okawa behavior during the war crimes trials was simply bizarre and nutty. Leading to his dismissal from prosecution because of insanity.

The author Eric Jaffe did a brilliant job putting this true story together as it related to military Psychiatry, Okawa influence on 1930's Japan & lead up to war, and the question of tolerance for excusing the War Criminal Okawa. It turns out the lead Psychiatrist was Jaffe's grandfather. The author structured the story very well leading to an interesting twist near its end. Therefore, I don't wish to reveal too much of the story.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 15 Jan 2014
By Jeneen Interlandi - Published on Amazon.com
What I love best about this book is how it brings WWII down to the level of individual people. Both men at the center of the narrative led fascinating lives, and Jaffe succeeds brilliantly at rendering those lives on the page. His crisp, lyrical prose pull the reader into and through one of the most pivotal chapters in American history.
It's warm and funny in some places, and heartbreaking in others. But the author's charm (and his love for his grandfather) definitely shows throughout. And for all that has been written and otherwise documented about WWII, Jaffe has managed to find an entirely unexplored sliver to bring to our attention.
Having recently read the WSJ long-form piece about the use of lobotomy to treat WWII veterans suffering from PTSD, I also really enjoyed learning more about the history of lobotomy (and of PTSD) in this book. Jaffe's grandfather was a student of Walter Freeman, the man who invented the procedure, and Jaffe does a great job of showing how the now-infamous doctor was viewed in his own day, as opposed to ours. The end result is a deeply engrossing read, worthy of our time and attention.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 17 Jan 2014
By Evan Lison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Just finished this book and I'm sad that I'm done with it. I agree with all of the prior reviews submitted before mine. Some might say that World War II has been over-done in both movies and books, but this book vividly captures a part of World War II that most people do not know about. You do not have to be a history buff to enjoy this book - it's just plain good. Enjoy!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "He's been called the 'Goebbels of Japan' for his ideological convictions." 23 Feb 2014
By E. Bukowsky - Published on Amazon.com
A recently published work, "The Nazi and the Psychiatrist," by Jack El-Hai, recounts the experiences of an army psychiatrist, Douglas E. Kelley, who spent a great deal of time with Hermann Göering while the former Reichsmarschall was in Nuremberg prison. Kelley was fascinated by Göering and hoped to draw some useful conclusions about the nature of evil. Why do human beings act inhumanely, Kelley wondered? Interestingly, Eric Jaffe, in "A Curious Madness," addresses the Japanese side of the equation. Eric Jaffe's grandfather, Major Daniel S. Jaffe, was a United States Army psychiatrist who, among his other duties, was ordered to assess the mental state of fifty-nine year old Okawa Shumei, an intellectual, prolific author, and one of the key architects of Japan's philosophy that war against the Western powers was necessary and inevitable.

After the bloody conflict in the Pacific ended, the American occupying forces tried Okawa and his fellow defendants in what was known as "The International Military Tribunal for the Far East" or the "Tokyo Trial." Sitting in the courtroom in front of Okawa was the infamous former general and Prime Minister of Japan, Tojo Hideki. Although Okawa was the lone civilian among the twenty-eight prisoners, some allied officials "considered him the stitching that held together the entire pattern of Japanese imperialism...." In short, he was "the mind that directed the country's might." Around 3:30 in the afternoon on May 3, 1946, Okawa "extended his long arm forward with an open palm and slapped the top of Tojo Hideki's bald head." After a short recess, Okawa hit Tojo on the head once again. This and other bizarre behavior on Okawa's part prompted the Americans to order a series of psychiatric examinations to determine whether Okawa was emotionally fit to participate in his defense.

In "A Curious Madness," the author describes Okawa's unshakeable belief in Japan's divine mission to rule not just Asia, but the entire world. Okawa organized "radical activist groups" and found eager converts among students and members of the military. Eventually, powerful figures in the Japanese government came around to Okawa's way of thinking. Many Japanese were swayed by Okawa's eloquent speeches (he broadcast a twelve-part radio program that aired in Japan shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) and persuasive writings. Okawa argued that Western powers had colonized and subjugated Asian nations with impunity. Why should Eastern countries relinquish their independence to their Western counterparts?

Equally intriguing is Jaffe's discussion of the psychiatric casualties that threatened the morale and well-being of American soldiers. While in the army, Daniel helped provide effective treatment for front-line troops showing symptoms of combat fatigue. Sadly, Daniel's mother, Esther, who was mentally ill, spent much of her adult life in and out of psychiatric institutions. Daniel was a reserved and cerebral man who wrote many letters to his wife that would have been an invaluable record of his experiences as a division neuropsychiatrist. Unfortunately, he destroyed all of his correspondence as well as his medical records. Still, Eric Jaffe digs deep into the historical records that remain and conducts interviews with surviving eyewitnesses, shedding light on what motivated Japan's leaders to engage in a fight to the death against America and her allies. Furthermore, Jaffe demonstrates the ways in which a protracted and bloody war extracts a high price from overwhelmed and exhausted soldiers who risk their lives on the front lines.

"A Curious Madness" is a well-researched work based on primary and secondary sources; it includes both copious notes and a thorough index.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insainley Good 3 Feb 2014
By Darian Burns - Published on Amazon.com
“A Curious Madness” by Eric Jafe reads like a novel whose plot and characters are too insane to be true. Two men from two separate worlds being propelled by world events to a final confrontation. Japanese nationalism that boarders on the edge of madness. Or dose it jump over the edge? A new field of combat psychiatry that is controversial but possibly the only way to uncovering the truth. The historic and compels nature of postwar justice. All of it swirling around a center which is insanity. Its all too crazy to be true However, it is true. All of it.

A Great book
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category