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Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan

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The powerful and riveting new book in the multimillion-selling Killing series by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of The powerful and riveting new book in the multimillion-selling Killing series by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor. Killing the Rising Sun takes readers to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan. Across the globe in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists are preparing to test the deadliest weapon known to mankind. In Washington, DC, FDR dies in office and Harry Truman ascends to the presidency, only to face the most important political decision in history: whether to use that weapon. And in Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito, who is considered a deity by his subjects, refuses to surrender, despite a massive and mounting death toll. Told in the same page-turning style of Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, Killing Patton, and Killing Reagan, this epic saga details the final moments of World War II like never before.


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The powerful and riveting new book in the multimillion-selling Killing series by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of The powerful and riveting new book in the multimillion-selling Killing series by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor. Killing the Rising Sun takes readers to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan. Across the globe in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists are preparing to test the deadliest weapon known to mankind. In Washington, DC, FDR dies in office and Harry Truman ascends to the presidency, only to face the most important political decision in history: whether to use that weapon. And in Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito, who is considered a deity by his subjects, refuses to surrender, despite a massive and mounting death toll. Told in the same page-turning style of Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, Killing Patton, and Killing Reagan, this epic saga details the final moments of World War II like never before.

30 review for Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Bill O'Reilly begins KILLING THE RISING SUN by warning readers of the troubling nature and violence the world witnessed in 1945 that is depicted here, and ends by recommending a visit to the monuments and museums describing the horrific damage. (can attest the Nagasaki museum is unforgettable)Everybody knows the date December 7, 1941 as the disastrous day Pearl Harbor was bombed, but do you remember the date the first ever atomic bombs were dropped? I hate to admit I did not, but do now! Little Bill O'Reilly begins KILLING THE RISING SUN by warning readers of the troubling nature and violence the world witnessed in 1945 that is depicted here, and ends by recommending a visit to the monuments and museums describing the horrific damage. (can attest the Nagasaki museum is unforgettable)Everybody knows the date December 7, 1941 as the disastrous day Pearl Harbor was bombed, but do you remember the date the first ever atomic bombs were dropped? I hate to admit I did not, but do now! Little Boy hit Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Fat Man on Nagasaki August 9, 1945.O'Reilly states, the question of whether or not it was ethical to drop the bombs will hang over the Oval Office for decades to come. Both Presidents Bush and Carter were asked to give their opinion of Truman's decision; their letters are included in this work of non-fiction as well as the opinion of George W. Bush. Presidents Clinton and Obama declined to comment.As with the previous "Killing" books I've read, this one was an easy-to-read and informative learning experience with data I had not heard before about MacArthur, Truman, their troubled relationship, the events leading up to the sinking of the Indianapolis, the sacrifices of unsung heroes and Einstein's roll in the whole shebang. There's even an interesting little tidbit about a sailor named Ensign William J. O'Reilly who believed he would have been killed had MacArthur's infamous last land invasion come to fruition.Can't say I enjoyed reading about the horrors enacted in the name of Emperor Hirohito, but the wickedly bizarre bit of humor regarding war criminal Tojo's new set of dentures provided (with pleasure) by the United States with the words "Remember Pearl Harbor" drilled into them in morse code brought a smile to my face.As always, a fast descriptive read complete with maps and old photos of the time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jim Brown

    I have read all of O'Reilly's "killing" books. Patton was the one I like the best but they are all excellent reads. I was NOT disappointed. This may be O'Reilly's best book yet. WOW! I am not only a student of sorts regarding World War II, I am also a retired disabled veteran (non-combat). I was aware of most of the history that O’Reilly writes about in Killing the Rising Sun but I had no idea about a lot of what he wrote about, the details that have gotten lost in history. I received my eBook o I have read all of O'Reilly's "killing" books. Patton was the one I like the best but they are all excellent reads. I was NOT disappointed. This may be O'Reilly's best book yet. WOW! I am not only a student of sorts regarding World War II, I am also a retired disabled veteran (non-combat). I was aware of most of the history that O’Reilly writes about in Killing the Rising Sun but I had no idea about a lot of what he wrote about, the details that have gotten lost in history. I received my eBook on a Tuesday afternoon and have finished reading it by Wednesday afternoon. I am NOT a speed reader so that should tell you how good I think this book is. While reading it I could not help be wonder if this material was being taught in our schools but I seriously doubt it. I pretty much had made up my mind well in advance of the book as to whether the A-Bomb should have been dropped on Japan or not. The book is not written to convince you one way or the other, it sticks to facts and lets you make up your own mind. After reading the book, I did not change my opinion of using the A-Bomb when President Truman did and why he did it. Still it is in the details of the events of WWII that O’Reily has captured; details that I was unaware of, decisions that I was unaware of and people I had never heard of but should have. I could not put the book down. It kept my interest alive with the events of WWII in the Pacific. I highly recommend reading it for everyone over the age of 14. Why 14? Because it describes what our troops went through in detail and anyone younger than 14 really should not be reading this. As for everyone else, history repeats itself primarily because the people of today do not know or understand our history, therefore, what they decide today has very little reference as to what happened yesterday. The vile mistreatment of people by people happened during WWII and it is happening once again today. History is repeating itself today! As you read this book, you will have visions of ISIS behavior that compares with the treatment that anyone captured by Japan undergone during WWII. Read it yourself and then you decide.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    You might not like Bill O'Reilly's political point of view but he is first and foremost, a history teacher. His historical research is on the money and he knows how to present it. With a BA in History, not much here came as a surprise to me but his perspective that Gen X-ers and Millennials might be unaware of the incredible sacrifices made by young Americans fighting the Japanese in the Pacific Theater is particularly significant. Their sacrifices illustrate why America is exceptional! You might not like Bill O'Reilly's political point of view but he is first and foremost, a history teacher. His historical research is on the money and he knows how to present it. With a BA in History, not much here came as a surprise to me but his perspective that Gen X-ers and Millennials might be unaware of the incredible sacrifices made by young Americans fighting the Japanese in the Pacific Theater is particularly significant. Their sacrifices illustrate why America is exceptional!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    I find myself with not much to say about this book. As far as I can tell it's well-researched and doesn't show much in the way of bias, but I'm not overly familiar with the Pacific theater so I don't know if anything is missing. The war is presented very approachably. I applaud O'Reilly's feel for history and I might have to look into a few more of his books. If anything, this book certainly renewed and solidified my intense dislike of Douglas MacArthur. I find myself with not much to say about this book. As far as I can tell it's well-researched and doesn't show much in the way of bias, but I'm not overly familiar with the Pacific theater so I don't know if anything is missing. The war is presented very approachably. I applaud O'Reilly's feel for history and I might have to look into a few more of his books. If anything, this book certainly renewed and solidified my intense dislike of Douglas MacArthur.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Licha

    3.5 stars rounded to 4 because I love these books. This one was a little harder for me to get through. It had way too many names of admirals, captains, colonels, etc., that I couldn’t keep track of who was who or whether I was supposed to remember them somewhere down the line. Too many names of weapons, battles, airplanes, ships, islands; it was too much overload. The second half flowed much faster as we near the end of the war. As always, I love the tidbits that would normally never be a part of 3.5 stars rounded to 4 because I love these books. This one was a little harder for me to get through. It had way too many names of admirals, captains, colonels, etc., that I couldn’t keep track of who was who or whether I was supposed to remember them somewhere down the line. Too many names of weapons, battles, airplanes, ships, islands; it was too much overload. The second half flowed much faster as we near the end of the war. As always, I love the tidbits that would normally never be a part of history class. The human aspect of the war was such a tragedy and I couldn’t help but cry for both the suffering and loss and courage of both sides. The big moral dilemma of whether it was the correct thing to do to drop the atomic bomb on Japan is hard to answer when you see the pros and cons of it, but it ought to serve the world as a lesson on the devastation that these weapons of mass destruction cause on a global level and for years to come. O’Reilly/Dugard get quite graphic describing what happens when an atomic bomb is dropped but I think it’s necessary to paint a picture of the horror so that perhaps it would make us think twice before this could ever happen again. I love the O’Reilly and Dugard series and highly recommend them. I cannot wait to see what they’re going to do next. My only gripe would be that they did not have more pictures.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Felix

    It is amazing how much we, not just as a nation but as a people, think we know about history. Throw away those school books that have been sanitized, heavily edited or just erased history because it was politically incorrect or inappropriate. History is not pretty, it is not glamorous as we are lead to believe by the portrayal of our "Heroes" in song or Hollywood. This book throws that narrative out the window and replaces it with reality, with real people, real incidents. It is History not glam It is amazing how much we, not just as a nation but as a people, think we know about history. Throw away those school books that have been sanitized, heavily edited or just erased history because it was politically incorrect or inappropriate. History is not pretty, it is not glamorous as we are lead to believe by the portrayal of our "Heroes" in song or Hollywood. This book throws that narrative out the window and replaces it with reality, with real people, real incidents. It is History not glamorous, it is not sanitized or revised. Bill O'Reilly has given us a look at the bloodshed, the loss of life, dignity and indignity suffered by our soldiers and the unwitting populations that are caught in a war they had no part in but were forced to endure. He takes us into many of the battles fought on lonely beaches, jungles, giving us a blow by blow description of what man can and does do to man. Read it and think of the politicians and generals, the fools that seek glory in the political arena and the battlefield at the cost of those soldiers lives. These men and women, young and old answered the call to war, some as young as 16, 17, 18...they went into battle against impossible odds, against all fear and rationale to fight for freedom and love of country. Think of the tremendous sacrifices of mind, body, limbs and life of these brave souls then try to hide behind the politics of it all. Yes this war was as much about politics as it was about freedom and tyranny. It is because of these soldiers, men and women, their families that we continue to retain the freedoms we so callously live in and enjoy today. After reading this book, go out and thank a Veteran, a Soldier a First Responder who are still fighting on the front lines to maintain that freedom and keep us safe. American is not perfect but it is the country that we live in thanks to the brave men and women of the past, present and future. And Thank you Bill O'Reilly. I thought I knew history...shame on me. I too am guilty of accepting many of the sanitized versions we have been fed. It is a mistake that I readily admit and will attempt to rectify. Parents and teachers, talk to your children, your students, have them read or listen to the book, then engage in conversation with them, do not allow our history to be diluted or deleted any further. We are doing our children a grave disservice to allow that to continue.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    I read this book for my hometown book club and I really learned a ton about World War II. During World War II, the Japanese are the U.S.'s opponent that will go to any length to avoid defeat. They believe that surrendering is a form of dishonor. This book takes place in many different areas and countries where the U.S. fought the Japanese. This book talks about Atomic Bomb and the use of it on Japan. Did it really stop the war like we were all taught? You'll have to read to find out! I read this book for my hometown book club and I really learned a ton about World War II. During World War II, the Japanese are the U.S.'s opponent that will go to any length to avoid defeat. They believe that surrendering is a form of dishonor. This book takes place in many different areas and countries where the U.S. fought the Japanese. This book talks about Atomic Bomb and the use of it on Japan. Did it really stop the war like we were all taught? You'll have to read to find out!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hank Hoeft

    I am not a Bill O'Reilly fan. I am also very interested in World War II and have read widely about it. Consequently, there was little in Killing the Rising Sun I didn't already know. But I appreciated O'Reilly's brief survey of the United States' involvement in the Pacific War because I think it fills an information vacuum many people nowadays have, who do not understand why the leaders of United States decided to use atomic weapons against Japan. I have taught high school English for almost thi I am not a Bill O'Reilly fan. I am also very interested in World War II and have read widely about it. Consequently, there was little in Killing the Rising Sun I didn't already know. But I appreciated O'Reilly's brief survey of the United States' involvement in the Pacific War because I think it fills an information vacuum many people nowadays have, who do not understand why the leaders of United States decided to use atomic weapons against Japan. I have taught high school English for almost thirty years now, and when teaching 11th and 12th grade English, I required my students write a thesis-based research paper. I really don't care what the thesis is as long as the student can back it up with creditable sources and material--if the student wants to "prove" the Loch Ness Monster really exists, I'm not going to say nay. In all my years of teaching, I have only once had difficulty grading objectively because a student of mine chose a thesis I didn't personally agree with. That thesis was that the United States didn't have to use the atomic bomb on Japan, and was morally wrong to do so. The reason I had difficulty with that student's thesis was this: My father fought in World War II in the European Theater, and after VE Day, was in the process of being transferred to the Pacific for the invasion of Japan. The use of atomic bombs changed all that, and instead, Dad was in the occupation force, not the invasion force. That is, my dad survived World War II instead of being killed in Japan. Of course, no on can know if Dad would have survived anyway, but I'm personally glad the Bomb was used so Dad didn't have to run the risk. As for my student, as things turned out I didn't have to test myself to see how objective I could be, because the student ultimately decided to change his thesis to another subject entirely. I think when he started researching the Pacific War and the use of atomic bombs, he changed his mind about the Bomb being unnecessary. I sincerely hope that Killing the Rising Sun can have that same effect on young or uninformed readers today.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    Popular history about the vanquishing of Japan during WWII. All told in Bill O'Reilly's voice. The timeline of the development of the Atomic bomb, and examination of Japan's role in the war, and the atrocities the country still hasn't apologized for. Not bad, but hardly a comprehensive history. Popular history about the vanquishing of Japan during WWII. All told in Bill O'Reilly's voice. The timeline of the development of the Atomic bomb, and examination of Japan's role in the war, and the atrocities the country still hasn't apologized for. Not bad, but hardly a comprehensive history.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rick Slane

    I was given a copy. It was not something I would ordinarily read but it was better than I expected.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Another in "Killing" series by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. I've had a mixed reaction to these books as it must be admitted that some opinion makes it's way into the narrative. But then if we're honest that's true of any work of history. Here we are taking a look at the events that led up to the use of the Atom bomb on 2 of Japan's cities. I must admit that to me this is a somewhat personal "controversy". Each time someone (especially a "so called" leader) goes over to japan, beats his breast Another in "Killing" series by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. I've had a mixed reaction to these books as it must be admitted that some opinion makes it's way into the narrative. But then if we're honest that's true of any work of history. Here we are taking a look at the events that led up to the use of the Atom bomb on 2 of Japan's cities. I must admit that to me this is a somewhat personal "controversy". Each time someone (especially a "so called" leader) goes over to japan, beats his breast and apologizes for the bombings I grit my teeth a bit. Japan never apologized for say Nanking (Nanjing). There were more people killed in the "Rape of Nanking" than were killed in both bombings without considering the rapes, killing contests and other atrocities. But you ask...why do I feel involved? Well my dad was an 18 year old on Okinawa and was slated as a part of the invasion force to invade the mainland of Japan. Operation Downfall was to involve something like 2,000,000 mostly American troops (there may have been some British participation had the invasion had to take place). American casualties alone were estimated at up to 1,000,000 dead. Chances are I wouldn't be sitting here at this keyboard and my kids wouldn't be around as my dad had at best a 50/50 chance of coming out alive. It was probably lower than that as he was there waiting and would have probably been in the first invasion forces. So...bottom line. The use of the Atom Bomb saved lives, both allied and Japanese. Well, anyway try it for yourself even if it's only for the history.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Miskewicz

    I'd actually give this book closer to 2.5 stars, and here is why: 1. I like that this book was very readable; the average American with little knowledge of the war in the Pacific would learn something. It was a very easy read. 2. I think the authors took some liberties (especially in regards to assuming some of the inner thoughts of historic figures). 3. Most sources used to write this book were not primary - most research came from others' research - I would never recommend this book for academic I'd actually give this book closer to 2.5 stars, and here is why: 1. I like that this book was very readable; the average American with little knowledge of the war in the Pacific would learn something. It was a very easy read. 2. I think the authors took some liberties (especially in regards to assuming some of the inner thoughts of historic figures). 3. Most sources used to write this book were not primary - most research came from others' research - I would never recommend this book for academic purposes.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    3.5 stars rounded up for its accuracy to facts of battles, island capture dynamics, medal winners bravery, marches too dire to fully describe, the horrific historic reality of event- all of that. But I almost rounded it down for the style. That present tense declarative prose flow, it grates on me here much more than in his other books. I liked this one much less than several others. Patton novel was superb. It's possible I have heard so much from the horse's mouth from men and women who served i 3.5 stars rounded up for its accuracy to facts of battles, island capture dynamics, medal winners bravery, marches too dire to fully describe, the horrific historic reality of event- all of that. But I almost rounded it down for the style. That present tense declarative prose flow, it grates on me here much more than in his other books. I liked this one much less than several others. Patton novel was superb. It's possible I have heard so much from the horse's mouth from men and women who served in the South Pacific theater and with some in great detail at the bomb testings, that this book could not make the impact on me that it would have made with others. It's true history, but so tragic and so at times, desperate- that the telling and the decision itself? IMHO, it does get warped by emotions of "afterwards" and so the real has to be evaluated in its own complex time and situation. Japan's mindset and the logistics of all those 6 or 8 mile islands taking 100,000 soldiers' deaths each (from BOTH sides)? How long and how many more would have perished without "the" bomb's use. Truman had guts beyond few men, especially life long politicians, would ever obtain by half. The atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese on their captives(men and women), other soldiers in battle and to the dying were some of the worst in torture/suffering that can be possible. So this book is not enjoyable to read. It's 2 star at most in that category. Hacking off limbs, blinding with sticks, starving and walking to death- those are the ones you can categorize. And the obedience levels trained for Japanese suicidal actions to take out dozens of enemy soldiers and staying in place underground for year after year- it would have been a 4 year more bloodbath. Japanese soldiers were still in hiding and discovered alive DECADES after 1945. That was the mindset. It was not Geneva convention -water boarding is torture mentality yard stick. This is a great read for those who do not know the history, background, steps toward Truman's decision and think WWII was just about the Nazis. It's history teacher gold. Not told in the current revisionist interpretation but the facts and sequences of what occurred. From those who saw and died- and the people who witnessed those dying. So that aspect is 5 star. All the American and Allied deaths did not happen in 1944-45. Many Americans died from the after affects of bomb testing or being too close in the actual. My father-in-law died young from a cancer you get from that exact cause. And he was on his 4th year fighting with these men on the islands when he witnessed testing . He never got to 60. But he talked about the reality of what he saw with his own eyes as the testing was done (close and he was shipboard visual) and felt that he was super lucky to be alive at all- those years after 1944. Most of the men he served with were lost in island landings and never got home, not even their bodies. I don't recommend this read for the thin skinned.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gary Schantz

    As a grandson of a WWII Navy veteran who was a gunner on the USS Izard, I was very interested in reading this book. I enjoyed how detailed it was without being boring or having an agenda. I am only sorry that I never fully appreciated these events while my grandfather was alive (He died in 1995). I am sure he could have given me even greater insight had I asked. The only two things I ever remember him talking about was how they shelled Iwo Jima day and night to get the Japanese to surrender yet As a grandson of a WWII Navy veteran who was a gunner on the USS Izard, I was very interested in reading this book. I enjoyed how detailed it was without being boring or having an agenda. I am only sorry that I never fully appreciated these events while my grandfather was alive (He died in 1995). I am sure he could have given me even greater insight had I asked. The only two things I ever remember him talking about was how they shelled Iwo Jima day and night to get the Japanese to surrender yet they kept on fighting back. The other observation he made was the horror in having to fish dead men out of the ocean after so many Kamikaze attacks on nearby ships. Just last year, after my grandmother's death, I found my grandfather's purple heart...a medal he (nor she) ever mentioned he was awarded....and that was probably because he didn't want to relive these events. After reading this book, I can see why. God bless all the men who fought the war in the Pacific.

  15. 4 out of 5

    George Briggs

    Truman Made the Right Decision Bill O'Reilly has written another 'Killing Thriller' that was a real page turner. The events leading up to the dropping of the two A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are brutally described as O'Reilly documents the atrocities, rapes, and inhumane treatment of POW's throughout the war. Historians might question the morality of using nuclear weapons. But after reading this book, President Truman was more than justified. The U. S. might have lost close to 100,000 men in Truman Made the Right Decision Bill O'Reilly has written another 'Killing Thriller' that was a real page turner. The events leading up to the dropping of the two A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are brutally described as O'Reilly documents the atrocities, rapes, and inhumane treatment of POW's throughout the war. Historians might question the morality of using nuclear weapons. But after reading this book, President Truman was more than justified. The U. S. might have lost close to 100,000 men in an invasion of Japan. My father and uncles might have been part of that bloodbath.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Another of my walk-the-dog audiobooks. An insightful short history of the pacific campaign against Japan in WW2. Plenty of first person accounts to give a deeper look into why the USA had to drop the bomb on Japan. One interesting aside was that Tojo (Japanese Prime Minister) had tried to kill himself after the war rather than be taken prisoner. He was unsuccessful and was imprisoned. The USA made him a new set of false teeth and inscribed on them- in Morse code- was the phrase "remember Pearl H Another of my walk-the-dog audiobooks. An insightful short history of the pacific campaign against Japan in WW2. Plenty of first person accounts to give a deeper look into why the USA had to drop the bomb on Japan. One interesting aside was that Tojo (Japanese Prime Minister) had tried to kill himself after the war rather than be taken prisoner. He was unsuccessful and was imprisoned. The USA made him a new set of false teeth and inscribed on them- in Morse code- was the phrase "remember Pearl Harbor". As a dentist I thought this was both funny and fitting. He was later hung by the rope until dead. If you are familiar with any of the Bill O'Reilly "killing" books, You'll probably enjoy this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bob Stockton

    Killing the Rising Sun is really a well written, engaging, defense of the use of the atomic bombs that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki which brought the brutal war in the pacific to an end. Today we find well-meaning people who are ready to condemn their country for the use of these two weapons. To them I would say "read this book." The horrible atrocities and murders that the Japanese inflicted on allied prisoners and civilians notwithstanding, O'Reilly's factual accounting of the number of Killing the Rising Sun is really a well written, engaging, defense of the use of the atomic bombs that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki which brought the brutal war in the pacific to an end. Today we find well-meaning people who are ready to condemn their country for the use of these two weapons. To them I would say "read this book." The horrible atrocities and murders that the Japanese inflicted on allied prisoners and civilians notwithstanding, O'Reilly's factual accounting of the number of American casualties in an invasion of the Japanese mainland is almost unfathomable. Conservative estimates put the figure at upward of 500,000 American lives. Had the bombs not been used it is quite reasonable to hypothesize that many of the very protesters would not be around today to voice their displeasure.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Richeal

    Very informative. Some very tough parts to get through pertaining to the aftermath of the atomic bombs.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Excellent book detailing the final days of WWII and the bombing of Japan. The history is presented very factually and interspersed with personal stories that give it depth and immediacy. I consider myself quite informed regarding the history of this period, and I was surprised at how many of the details were brand-new to me. The extent of the research is obvious. There were so many egos operating in the political and military arenas. Perhaps it requires that sort of conceit to be effective in suc Excellent book detailing the final days of WWII and the bombing of Japan. The history is presented very factually and interspersed with personal stories that give it depth and immediacy. I consider myself quite informed regarding the history of this period, and I was surprised at how many of the details were brand-new to me. The extent of the research is obvious. There were so many egos operating in the political and military arenas. Perhaps it requires that sort of conceit to be effective in such a weighty time. Who could make those kinds of decisions, lives and deaths of so many hanging on your every move, without having an enormous sense of self-importance. I would never want the responsibility and yet we should all be so thankful for those who do not shy away from that responsibility when it is unavoidable. It is always worthwhile to look at our past, to know our history, to examine our mistakes. It is important to remember how we came to be where we are and to contemplate where we might be had we made different decisions. I would like to think we profit from the exercise, although I admit that at times it seems there is no evidence that this is true. I read Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy and found they added nothing significant to my understanding of those events. In contrast, I felt this book did add quite a lot to my knowledge of these events.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    My first shot at a Bill O'Reilly Killing series book. I found the writing style to be engaging and readable, but somewhat overly dramatic and emotionally manipulative, I think it could have been told in a more natural style and still made a strong impact as the events depicted were plenty dramatic. It was however more even-handed than I expected, particularly as the stated objective was to prove that the dropping of the Atomic bombs on Japan was necessary. In the end, I learned a little bit more My first shot at a Bill O'Reilly Killing series book. I found the writing style to be engaging and readable, but somewhat overly dramatic and emotionally manipulative, I think it could have been told in a more natural style and still made a strong impact as the events depicted were plenty dramatic. It was however more even-handed than I expected, particularly as the stated objective was to prove that the dropping of the Atomic bombs on Japan was necessary. In the end, I learned a little bit more about the events and people surrounding the end of WWII. Popsugar reading challenge 2017: A bestseller from 2016

  21. 4 out of 5

    Al Johnson

    Unfortunately as a historical book, this earns a one star. If it were a historical novel then the writing style and narrative would earn it a four or five star rating. The first indication that the book would be filled with narrative bias, omission, and in one case incorporating false information was when the bibliography did not contain specific sources. Only a vague "for more information" and institutional references. If a writer can not cite sources to specific facts in the book, it is not a h Unfortunately as a historical book, this earns a one star. If it were a historical novel then the writing style and narrative would earn it a four or five star rating. The first indication that the book would be filled with narrative bias, omission, and in one case incorporating false information was when the bibliography did not contain specific sources. Only a vague "for more information" and institutional references. If a writer can not cite sources to specific facts in the book, it is not a history book, it is a novel. After reading it twice to make sure that there was nothing missed, it confirmed the fact this was simply an attempt to justify the Atomic Bombing. More apt for 1944 or 1945 than the 21st Century, it carries much of the propoganda devoid of facts into its pages. Omitted were the numerous attempts by the Japanese government to negotiate a surrender as early as 1944 (a few of the more notable ones collected by the OSS starting in January 45 are listed here https://www.cia.gov/library/center-fo...). Nor did Killing the Rising Sun mention the repeated attempts by military leadership in the US, and British PM Churchilll to amend the "unconditional surrender" condition. Many knew that this was the main reason the Japanese were unlikely to surrender. After FDRs death, the appeals to amend the "unconditional" were repeated but Truman was not sure about what to do with it either. Thus it remained and was the main reason the Japanese did not enter into negotiations as the status of the Emperor by early 1945 was the only impediment to many of the political blocs and even many of the military clique leaders as well. Had this been pursued, the negotiated surrender was a possiblity. The biggest block was from US politicians who throughout the war wanted the Japanese race exterminated. It was only after the opening of the concentration camps in Europe that the mood in the US began to change slowly about what racial extermination really looked like. Killing the Rising Sun even put the debunked Comfort Women story on its first pages in an attempt to appeal to emotion in the reader. This was perhaps the first indication that he had not done any reasearch on the issues he was writing about, as the Comfort Women story was largely made up by Japanese communists in the 1970s and 1980s to cover for the North Korean kidnapping of Japanese girls that the South Koreans provided evidence to Japan on. His cut/paste of the now debunked line that 200,000 were kidnapped was the first red flag, and many more followed. Finally, O'Reilly and Dugard ignore the maxim of war promulgated since Scipio Africanus: A force without a route of retreat and faced with anihalation will fight to the death. The Japanese displayed the same "to the last man" as many other armies in history when faced with a similar condition. The armies of Russia are lauded for their "Urrah" charges, but the Japanese in Killing the Rising Sun is, as Dower explained, reduced to a subhuman fanatic in order to justify the bomb. The case for or against the bomb is one that historians will argue, but they argue while citing specific sources. Killing the Rising Sun offers none of these, so does not belong in that category. For those looking for a good read on the Pacific Theater, far more accurate (and almost as equally entertaining) books are by Edwin Reishauer (any of his books as all have stood the critic of time), John Toland (The Rising Sun), and if specific to the decision for the Atomic Bomb; Gar Alperovitz (The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb) are my recommendations. But if you are looking for a good novel, this one fits the "bill".

  22. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    The "Killing" series of books by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard are compact histories, which are well researched and contain often overlooked facts and gems of information not found in other nonfiction accounts of events past. Killing the Rising Sun is no exception. The book begins near the end of the Pacific war with Japan, so you will not find the legacy of the code breakers who provided Nimitz and the US Submarine force with "secret" Japanese information. Nor will you find other extensive inf The "Killing" series of books by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard are compact histories, which are well researched and contain often overlooked facts and gems of information not found in other nonfiction accounts of events past. Killing the Rising Sun is no exception. The book begins near the end of the Pacific war with Japan, so you will not find the legacy of the code breakers who provided Nimitz and the US Submarine force with "secret" Japanese information. Nor will you find other extensive information on Naval encounters. The tale begins with the deadly invasion on the island of Peleliu and continues with the Marine Corps legendary Pacific island hopping campaigns. As you can imagine, it ends with dropping of atomic weapons on Japan, but also points out what the Soviet Union was up to in Manchuria and their ultimate plans to invade the Land of the Rising Sun. The loss of life on all sides of the Pacific War of WWII was horrific.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie

    I wasn't a huge fan of this one. Perhaps I've read too many other World War II accounts, or I was hoping for more, or something... In any case, I hoped for a bit more depth into some of the major players, battles, and circumstances, but the book seemed to be written on a fairly superficial level. For example there were perhaps two pages on Iwo Jima when whole books have struggled to cover that battle with meaning. Also, the use of the present tense was meant to engage the reader, but at times it I wasn't a huge fan of this one. Perhaps I've read too many other World War II accounts, or I was hoping for more, or something... In any case, I hoped for a bit more depth into some of the major players, battles, and circumstances, but the book seemed to be written on a fairly superficial level. For example there were perhaps two pages on Iwo Jima when whole books have struggled to cover that battle with meaning. Also, the use of the present tense was meant to engage the reader, but at times it was just plain confusing especially with the quantity of footnotes that were given in past tense. For example, at one point it was mentioned that a battleship "is now docked..." and I needed to reread the paragraph a few times to see if that was 1940s now or 2016 now. It's a good enough introduction to the War in the Pacific, but not overly satisfying if a reader is looking for more than "pop history".

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jay Schutt

    This book opens in the fall of 1944 when the allied forces have already tightened the noose around Imperial Japan. At this point, Japan is being hammered into submission by constant bombing raids, but they will not surrender. With Russia invading Manchuria from the west, America must find a quick ending to the war to try to keep the Russian presence in Asia to a minimum. Hence, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This decision created a moral dilemma for the U.S. Part of t This book opens in the fall of 1944 when the allied forces have already tightened the noose around Imperial Japan. At this point, Japan is being hammered into submission by constant bombing raids, but they will not surrender. With Russia invading Manchuria from the west, America must find a quick ending to the war to try to keep the Russian presence in Asia to a minimum. Hence, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This decision created a moral dilemma for the U.S. Part of the book tells of the atrocities done by the Japanese and how heroic the Americans were. A biased point of view. The historical facts were accurate, but skimmed over and not in much detail. This book was given to me as a gift, so I felt compelled to read it. Otherwise, I don't think I would have made that choice.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brandon R

    Was America morally justified to drop the atomic bomb on Japan? This is the question this book leaves you with. The book gives detailed repercussions from the blast; its effects physically, environmentally, and emotionally on the Japanese people. The answer is not a simple one. One thing is certain; the entire world changed the day the first bomb was dropped. Mankind was now able to destroy itself entirely.

  26. 4 out of 5

    John Uit de Flesch

    Another exciting page-turner. This was a great overview of the forgotten theatre of WWII. I especially was interested to learn about the Russian invasion of Manchuria and more details about Hirohito. The author supports dropping the A-bomb, both directly and indirectly. I am personally thankful as my grandfather could have been killed in an invasion of Japan.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    Once again this series delivers with lots of facts I didn’t know I didn’t know and didn’t know I needed. As far as the “killing” series goes this is probably one of the least riveting of the ones I have read. There was a little two much bland/boring filler in this compared to others. I don’t think I would recommend this one unless you are a WWII buff.

  28. 5 out of 5

    John

    Another great for lovers of history Absolutely loved this one and actually learned a lot of interesting history facts along the way. The writing put you right there in every moment. Highly, highly recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dkovlak

    Wow. I learned a tremendous amount about WW2 in the Pacific Theater. The sacrifices that were made by the soldiers on both sides were amazing...courage that is unparalleled. Whether the U.S. should have dropped the Atomic bombs to end the war is very controversial. Many think it was inhumane to kill lots of innocent people. Others think the conventional war would have gone on with additional killings, torture, slavery, sexual abuse, etc. One key statement was made by one of the authors. Bill O'R Wow. I learned a tremendous amount about WW2 in the Pacific Theater. The sacrifices that were made by the soldiers on both sides were amazing...courage that is unparalleled. Whether the U.S. should have dropped the Atomic bombs to end the war is very controversial. Many think it was inhumane to kill lots of innocent people. Others think the conventional war would have gone on with additional killings, torture, slavery, sexual abuse, etc. One key statement was made by one of the authors. Bill O'Reilly's dad was an Ensign scheduled to fight in the Pacific when the war ended. If the war did not end when it did, Ensign O'Reilly had a good chance of being killed. If this occurred, the author of this book would have never been born. Only God knows how many people would have similar stories. Also, the cruelty inflected on prisoners of war, war victims that lost their lives, and other innocent citizens was indescribable. The people that developed the Atomic bomb were truly geniuses. The fact that it was developed, tested, transported, and used when it was used was amazing. I was also surprised with the professionalism of the post-war efforts on all sides. We need to thank God every day that most of us did not have to be subjected to the horrors of this war! This really makes me appreciate what God told us in the Bible.....For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    Another remarkable tale by O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. These “killing” books just keep getting better, and “Killing the Rising Sun” is no exception. It’s easy to see why O’Reilly’s books claim the top spot on best-selling book lists. They’re well written, clear and concise, great military history lessons for those who don’t normally care for military fare. Lots of interesting factoids explaining events that you never learned in history class. If you’ve never read one of O’Reilly’s “killing” book Another remarkable tale by O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. These “killing” books just keep getting better, and “Killing the Rising Sun” is no exception. It’s easy to see why O’Reilly’s books claim the top spot on best-selling book lists. They’re well written, clear and concise, great military history lessons for those who don’t normally care for military fare. Lots of interesting factoids explaining events that you never learned in history class. If you’ve never read one of O’Reilly’s “killing” books, try this one. It’s an eye-opener; you won’t be disappointed.

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