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The Rising Sun: Tthe Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire (Modern Library War) Paperback – 26 Jun 2003
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"[It] is quite possibly the most readable, yet informative account of the Pacific war." --"Chicago Sun-Times"
"Unbelievably rich . . . readable and exciting . . . The best parts of [Toland's] book are not the battle scenes but the intimate view he gives of the highest reaches of Tokyo politics." --"Newsweek
"Similar in scope to William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." Toland's book is fresh and dramatic throughout. The Rising Sun is not only a blood-and-guts action story, it also presents for the first time a great deal of fresh information." --"Chicago Sun-Times"
[It] is quite possibly the most readable, yet informative account of the Pacific war. "Chicago Sun-Times"
Unbelievably rich . . . readable and exciting . . . The best parts of [Toland s] book are not the battle scenes but the intimate view he gives of the highest reaches of Tokyo politics. "Newsweek
Similar in scope to William Shirer s "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." Toland s book is fresh and dramatic throughout. The Rising Sun is not only a blood-and-guts action story, it also presents for the first time a great deal of fresh information. "Chicago Sun-Times""
From the Inside Flap
This Pulitzer Prize-winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, "The Rising Sun is, in the author's words, "a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened--muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox."
In weaving together the historical facts and human drama leading up to and culminating in the war in the Pacific, Toland crafts a riveting and unbiased narrative history. In his Foreword, Toland says that if we are to draw any conclusion from "The Rising Sun, it is "that there are no simple lessons in history, that it is human nature that repeats itself, not history."
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Top Customer Reviews
I take one star off, because this was written by an American historian, (originally published in 1970) and, as is so often the case, for non-Americans the title and blurb are slightly misleading. This is primarily about the war between Japan and the US, so if you're expecting something more all-encompassing, you'll be disappointed. It does however acknowledge the fact that the US wasn't on its own, and occasionally goes into some detail about what was going on outside the US zone. Very occasionally. And briefly.
For British readers (and the author can't make up his mind if we're British or English, like so many of his compatriots), be prepared to suffer some steam coming out of your ears at times. Most of the ideas about the British are purely American, and thus somewhat warped.. When the Empire is referred to it is from the standard US viewpoint, that Western imperialism was 100% appalling, particularly the British version (the author shows general ignorance about other European empires and credits the British with being the worst about everything).
And, of course, the US doesn't have it's own empire in this! Everyone wherever they are (ie in their co!onies, which naturally they don't call colonies) loves them (unlike the Brits where everyone hates them).
But these moments pass quickly (they don't take up much text) and I can honestly say that I very nearly completely enjoyed this book.
As history, I think it needs to be taken rather cautiously as it is clearly pro-Japanese. It does however also try to convey the mindset of the ordinary Japanese and their justifications for their part in these events. It depicts the very curious relationship between the Emperor and his household and the cabal of militant warlords who governed on his apparent behalf. Issues of taboo, honour and obligation, having no parallel in Western political structures led to a complex situation whereby the militarist elite could claim to be operating in the service of the Emperor's divine will and with his blessing. Meanwhile the same conventions rendered the Emperor and the moderates around him impotent to materially influence the course of affairs.Read more ›
No, I'm afraid that this book isn't even pro-Japanese as some reviewers have said. Yes, it's ten years of Japanese history with a lot of the nasty bits left out, hardly a mention of the massacres of POWs and civilians for example, but this book is really about how the Japanese were inferior to the might of the Americans. The point of the book seems to be to tell them that they should have stayed at home.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Toland’s Pulitzer Prize winning ‘Rising Sun’ was first published in 1971, so it can take no advantage of more recent scholarship. Read morePublished 5 months ago by David Beeson
Excellent popular history of the Pacific War. It is a bit dated now, but holds up pretty well considering how long ago it was written.Published 17 months ago by Reader
Many books on the war in the Pacific are written from an Allied perspective, so John Toland's book is interesting because it gives more insight into the Japanese perspective. Read morePublished 18 months ago by BardM
A fantastic book! Exciting and informative – highly recommended!Published 18 months ago by M Seiler
If you only have time for one book on the Japanese perspective of the Pacific War then this is the book you should choose. Read morePublished 21 months ago by George Reid
Extremely easy to read compared to a lot of MilHist litterature. Brung home some points I haven't heard before, such as the many valorous japanese commanders who misplaced and... Read morePublished on 23 Jun. 2015 by Matias Jensen
Toland can't do any wrong another excellent book by this serious author.Published on 24 April 2015 by VIC
I would give this book 10 stars if I could. I first read it way back in the 1970s. And am glad it is on kindle. Read morePublished on 22 April 2015 by Jane Phillips