The Rape of Nanking

The Rape of Nanking

The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II

Book - 1998
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Penguin Putnam
In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered—a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written what will surely be the definitive history of this horrifying episode. The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: of the Japanese soldiers who performed it, of the Chinese civilians who endured it, and of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. Among these was the Nazi John Rabe, an unlikely hero whom Chang calls the "Oskar Schindler of China" and who worked tirelessly to protect the innocent and publicize the horror. More than just narrating the details of an orgy of violence, The Rape of Nanking analyzes the militaristic culture that fostered in the Japanese soldiers a total disregard for human life. Finally, it tells the appalling story: about how the advent of the Cold War led to a concerted effort on the part of the West and even the Chinese to stifle open discussion of this atrocity. Indeed, Chang characterizes this conspiracy of silence, that persists to this day, as "a second rape."

Baker & Taylor
Relates an account of the 1937 massacre of 250,000 Chinese civilians in Nanking by the invading Japanese military, a carnage for which the Japanese government has never admitted responsibility

& Taylor

The shocking story of the Japanese invasion of the ancient city of Nanking, where more than 300,000 Chinese civilians were tortured, raped, and killed, is told by those who survived and supported by newly found documents. Reprint.

Publisher: New York : BasicBooks : Penguin, 1998.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©1997
ISBN: 9780140277449
Branch Call Number: SHARED SYSTEM
Characteristics: xi, 290 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map, plan ; 25 cm


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May 15, 2017

An illuminating account of Japan's WWII atrocities, it made it hard to feel anything positive, at all, about the country of Japan. I find it very interesting that Japanese culture referred to us as barbarians.

Aug 29, 2016

This was a tough book to read. I later found out when researching the author that she apparently committed suicide and some believe part of the reason for her depression was very troubling nature of so much of her research.

You always hear about the NAZIs and the atrocities committed by them and their supporters, but in the west you never hear about China. Japan killed over 15 million people and it's been largely forgotten about. This book details just one city and just one period and shows the brutality of the Japanese Army.

It was a very hard book to read from an emotional standpoint.

BostonPL_LauraB May 10, 2016

This was a tough book to read, but it is important. Although I am more of the belief that the world is inherently good, there is no denying that there are also horrible people out there and maybe just ordinary people who commit unbelievable atrocities. If you have no idea what the title of this book means, read it. It is necessary to know this part of world history just as it is necessary to know about the Holocaust. Highly recommended.

The edition I read was made even more sad by finding out what happened to the author years after she wrote this. It was a real shame, because she was an excellent author.

Feb 23, 2016

A compulsively readable, fast paced account/ indictment of the Japanese military's activities in Nanking in 1937-8. Although it purports to be a history, its a 'history' only in the sense that it is about human events that occurred in the past, but in truth it reads more like a 'case for the prosecution': a lot of rhetorical devices are used skew and slant the story told. Author seems frightened that the facts cannot speak for themselves.

Jun 25, 2013

An excellent book about a not-well-enough kow chapter in Asian history. Factual but easily readable, this book will make you wonder what is the matter with all of us?

chenlixu Feb 13, 2012

For peoples who want to know more historical background & detail about the book, I find the documentary DVD Nanking (ASIN: B000ZN71GS) is a must see. It's a very moving & powerful DVD.

Jun 26, 2008

It is a good read as it outlines the events of the Nanking Atrocities. Includes some black and white pictures that are claimed as being from the incident. A lot of debate over the 'facts' of the books, but I think they're not that big of a change. This is a good book to read to see the contrast with many other Japanese written books on the subject. Take a look at "The Alleged Nanking Massacre" or other revisionist books--they'll leave you thinking.


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Jun 26, 2008

Violence: descriptions and images

Jun 26, 2008

Sexual Content: war time sex crimes


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Sep 18, 2018

LauraSteinert thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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