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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Study of Survival, 28 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Surviving a Japanese Internment Camp: Life and Liberation at Santo Tomás, Manila, in World War II (Paperback)
Like Rupert Wilkinson, I was a British internee in Santo Tomas. There have been valuable histories of the camp before, but not since the 1960s and nothing as comprehensive as this. He has done a magnificent job and the book will surely become the standard work on the subject. It is hard to see how it can be bettered. I had no idea there was so much literature on the topic, especially memoirs both published and unpublished. Wilkinson has brought all his sources together, and interweaved his own memories, most skilfully. He presents a vivid picture of the history, society and life of Santo Tomas, but he also puts the camp in its wider political, economic and military context in an illuminating way. The drama of liberation, after the long months of waiting and hunger, is excitingly brought to life, and the text is richly illustrated with arresting, well-captioned, photographs and drawings. Not least, in his closing chapter Wilkinson is prepared to address important moral questions of responsibility and guilt - other writers might have avoided them. Former internees, their descendants, and students of the war in the Philippines, will all be in his debt.
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