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Prisoners of the Japanese

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Home » Books » History » Military History » World War II

Prisoners of the Japanese

By Gavin Daws

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Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Other Information: illustrations
In the first disastrous months following Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Army took over 140,000 Allied prisoners. More than one in four of these POWs died at the hands of their captors. They were denied medical treatment. They were starved. When the International Red Cross sent food and medicine, the Japanese looted the shipments. They sacrificed prisoners in medical experiments. They watched them die by the tens of thousands from diseases of malnutrition like beriberi, pellagra, and scurvy, and from the epidemic diseases of the tropics: malaria, dysentery, tropical ulcers, and cholera. Those who survived were slated to be worked to death. If the war had lasted another twelve months, there would not have been a POW left alive. Prisoners of the Japanese raises disturbing questions as well about the value placed on the lives of Allied POWs by their own supreme command. Of all military prisoners who died in the Japanese zone of captivity, more than one in four were killed by "friendly fire" ordered by General Douglas MacArthur. It is impossible not to be seized by the horror of the POWs' ordeal. But while the inhuman cruelty of the Japanese prison camps is documented exhaustively - beyond the shadow of a doubt - the book, at its core, tells a heartening story of ordinary men, trapped in impossible circumstances, not only struggling to survive but stubbornly, triumphantly asserting their humanity.


"Daws has done for the POW saga what "Schindler's List" and "The Diary of Anne Frank "did for the Holocaust."-- "The Asian Wall Street Journal""A rigorously authentical masterwork...Daws gives his chronicle a thoughtfully considered historical and psychological context . . . The ultimate effect is strangely, unexpectedly uplifting."-- Cleveland "Plain Dealer""Vividly brings to light the random killing of prisoners during the infamous Bataan Death March and the use of POW slave labor in the construction of the Burma-Siam railroad."-- "The New York Times Book Review""It is a disgrace, really, that because of political priorities this story has never been systematically recorded or documented, and hence has never been fully told to the public."-- "The Wall Street Journal""Superb. A work of consummate historical scholarship. Devastating, heartbreaking."-- "BBC Radio World Service""A powerful, disturbing, and necessary book."-- "Parameters, "U.S. Army War College quarterly"My story is told in this book. Every word is true."-- Houston Tom Wright, POW"All of us recognize how well you have captured the truth. Thanks for telling the world."-- Guy Kelnhofer, POW

EAN: 9780688143701
ISBN: 0688143709
Publisher: William Morrow
Dimensions: 23.42 x 15.75 x 3.15 centimetres (0.54 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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