Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan
By Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
Henry Holt, 2016. 323 pgs. Nonfiction
The World War II battles in the Pacific against the Japanese were brutal and very costly in human lives. As the United States pushed the Japanese back, suffering tremendous losses on island after island, it became clear that the final land invasion of Japan would also cause many US casualties. The Japanese were trained to never surrender and their leaders were teaching every civilian man, woman, and child to fight as well. Meanwhile, at Los Alamos, the atom bomb was finally completed, making it possible to consider ending the war without incurring thousands of deaths and injuries of US troops.
O'Reilly and Dugard detail this background to the decision to drop the atom bomb. They describe the battles, the personalities of the major military leaders, and the unexpected presidency of Harry Truman. Their aim is to help the present generation understand the context of the decision to drop the first atom bomb and they do it by bringing to life in dramatic detail the closing months of World War II in the Pacific. SH