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I’d like to say that this is an uplifting story of triumph – it is not. It is a story of tragedy, irreconcilable loss and pain; of events of evil and actions that move the human heart to grief sixty plus years later. It is a reminder of how the will of the few can create atrocities to the many, and how some escape their judgment while innocents pay for their moral depravation. It is said that you have to understand history to understand the future – I am not in a position to say, but this history I cannot internalize. You will be able to comprehend its telling, to feel its impact; but to understand into your heart – you most likely cannot, I could not. Though occasionally gruesome, it is not the author’s intent embellish, nor is it the author’s intent to stir negative feelings among the Japanese and American people of today. His fair reporting of the events, of both sides, pulls at the very fabric of those interested in war history. I am both sorry to have listened and glad I did. I am sorry cannot I cannot be of greater help.
22 of 25 people found this review helpful
I bought this book (audio) for some Independence Day enjoyment, but I'm afraid it was anything but. Instead of giving an account of American Airmen fighting World War II, it was only constant barrage of how evil the United States is. Apparently Bradley is of the "blame America First" crowd, and even goes so far as to say the evils that Japan committed (torture, rape, murder, etc.) were the result of white American Christians. No, I'm not kidding --sadly, I'm not even exaggerating. It's as though he needs to give himself permission to list Japanese atrocities by dredging up American acts that occurred over a hundred years ago against Indians, Mexicans, and even whales. Yes... whales. His argument is that Japan was a peaceful paradise until they met the evil white man; a comparison that makes as much sense as saying a man saw a bank robbery and it suddenly brainwashed him into becoming a bank robber.
Also, for some inexplicable reason (vanity, perhaps?) Bradley narrates the book himself. Some authors have a gift for this, but unfortunately Bradley doesn't. I would go so far as to say he sounds like Mathew Broderick with a head cold, and is struggling with the words because he took too much NyQuil.
Overall, Bradley's book is rooted in self-loathing. If I recall correctly, he did the same thing in Flags of Our Fathers, so this is just more of the same. I wanted to enjoy this book, but instead I returned it. If I want to be told how bad America sucks I'll just turn on CNN.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful