The Rape of Nanking

The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II

Chang, Iris

Book - 1997
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Rape of Nanking
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, c1997
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780140277449
Characteristics: xi, 290 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., map, plan ; 25 cm


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Jun 25, 2013
  • BlueHippo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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?

Feb 13, 2012
  • chenlixu rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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
  • pie rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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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Jul 16, 2008
  • pie rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: war time sex crimes

Jul 16, 2008
  • pie rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Violence: descriptions and images


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