Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Excellent Book, but Tough to Read

Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman (Picador, 2010, 496pp.)

In 1942, 76,000 American and Filipino soldiers surrendered to the Japanese on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippine Islands, and were forced to make a brutal trek to the nearest POW camp. The Bataan Death March, as it became known, stands testament to humanity’s saga of never-ending cruelty—and kindness. Several years in the making, Tears in the Darkness is an excellent work, covering events before and after the death march. In addition to interviewing American and Filipino soldiers, the authors also talked to Filipino civilians who risked their lives to aid the POWs along the way, as well as consulting former Japanese soldiers to provide vital insight into the Japanese psyche of the 1940s.

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