Once again Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard pen an interesting look at history in their newest “killing” book, Killing the Rising Sun. The authors look at several events that were crucial in the war as well as the people involved on both sides of the horrors.
We all know the story of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and we know about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but between these two events that basically bookended the war in the South Pacific, there were plenty of other events that are not as well known, and people who have been delegated to the sidelines of history. This book examines everyone’s parts in this brutal chapter in world history with personal accounts as well as documented statements. Readers will get a well-rounded look at the people and places that made up the war in the Pacific.
There are several nuances in history that are not part of history books in schools. The selection of Harry Truman to replace Henry Agard as FDR’s running mate in 1945 is one of those little unknown facts. Had Agard remained VP and taken over when Roosevelt died, the world would be a very different place, especially considering Agard’s communist leanings.
From Pearl Harbor to the final battle of the war (between Russia and Japan), the pages are filled with plenty of facts spewed out in a way that makes it appealing to read and interesting to digest. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the situations, many stories may be traumatic for readers to take in. They are horrifying. The inhumanity is unbelievable, yet these events are what happened.
The story of the USS Indianapolis is amazing. After being torpedoed by the Japanese, the survivors floundered in the sea for several days without fresh water or food, some even being eaten by sharks. There is the gut-wrenching story of a little Japanese boy carrying his dead infant brother to the location where the bodies were cremated, standing at attention while the little body was reduced to ashes, and walking away.
The war did not end with the bombing of Hiroshima. The Japanese were not going to surrender. Civilians were told to fight to the death. But in due time there was a finality to the situation.
Killing the Rising Sun will definitely have an emotional effect on readers. It is an interesting look at history, well written, and filled with stories that will leave readers thinking and understanding more about the people and events of World War II.