The definitive New York Times bestselling account of one of history's most brutal--and forgotten--massacres
In December 1937, one of the most horrific massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking (what was then the capital of China), and within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered-a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. In this seminal work, Iris Chang, whose own grandparents barely escaped the massacre, resurrects this history and tells the story from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers, that of the Chinese, and that of a group of Westerners who refused to abandon the city and created a safety zone, which saved almost 300,000 Chinese.
Amazingly, the story of this atrocity--one of the worst in world history--continues to be denied by the Japanese government. More than just narrating the details of an orgy of violence, The Rape of Nanking tells the shocking story of the concerted effort during the Cold War on the part of the West and even China to stifle open discussion of the massacre. Drawing on extensive interviews with survivors and documents brought to light for the first time, Iris Chang's classic is the definitive history of this horrifying episode.
About the Author
Iris Chang graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked briefly as a reporter before winning a graduate fellowship to the writing seminars program at the Johns Hopkins University. She received numerous honors including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Program on Peace and International Cooperation Award, the Woman of the Year Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans, and honorary doctorates from the College of Wooster and California State University at Hayward. Her work appeared in many publications, including Newsweek, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She died in 2004.
"In her important new
book, The Rape of Nanking, Iris
Chang, whose own grandparents were survivors, recounts the grisly massacre with
understandable outrage."—New York Times
based on extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, is
utterly compelling yet, at the same time, in places unbearable to read."—Foreign Affairs
methodically, records what happened, piecing together the abundant eyewitness
reports into an undeniable tapestry of horror."—Adam Hochschild, Salon
"A powerful new work of history and moral inquiry. Chang takes great care to establish an accurate accounting of the dimensions of the violence."—Chicago Tribune
"Iris Chang's research on the Nanking holocaust yields a new and expanded telling of this World War II atrocity and reflects thorough research. The book is excellent; its story deserves to be heard."—Beatrice S. Bartlett, professor of history, Yale University
"Heartbreaking.... An utterly compelling book. The descriptions of the atrocities raise fundamental questions not only about imperial Japanese militarism but the psychology of the torturers, rapists, and murderers."—Frederic Wakeman, director of the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
"Something beautiful, an act of justice, is occurring in America today concerning something ugly that happened long ago.... Because of Chang s book, the second rape of Nanking is ending."—George F. Will, syndicated columnist
"In her important new book ... Iris Chang, whose own grandparents were survivors, recounts the grisly massacre with understandable outrage."—Orville Schell, The New York Times Book Review
"Anyone interested in the relation between war, self-righteousness, and the human spirit will find The Rape of Nanking of fundamental importance. It is scholarly, an exciting investigation, and a work of passion. In places it is almost unbearable to read, but it should be readonly if the past is understood can the future be navigated."—Ross Terrill, author of Mao, China in Our Time, and Madame Mao