Killing the Rising Sun

  • by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
  • Narrated by Robert Petkoff, Bill O'Reilly
  • 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The powerful and riveting new audiobook in the multimillion-selling Killing series by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.
Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor.
Killing the Rising Sun takes listeners to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan. Across the globe in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists are preparing to test the deadliest weapon known to mankind. In Washington, DC, FDR dies in office, and Harry Truman ascends to the presidency only to face the most important political decision in history: whether to use that weapon. And in Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito, who is considered a deity by his subjects, refuses to surrender despite a massive and mounting death toll.
Told in the same pause-resistant style of Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, Killing Patton, and Killing Reagan, this epic saga details the final moments of World War II like never before.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Skimming the surface

I have read a great many books about World War II including books covering the German-Russian part of the conflict, the Western Allies invasion of France in 1944 and the war in the Pacific Theater and am thus very familiar with the major events leading to the defeat of Germany, Italy and Japan. When I buy more books concerning the war I look for something different from what I already know - perhaps something centering on the politics of the war, or perhaps a book on the efforts to successfully complete the Manhattan Project. Mr O’Reilly’s book turns out to be a rather light skimming of the last year of the war with some needed concentration on how brutal the war against Japan became and the reasons for that violence, but brings little new information.

Perhaps the best parts of this book are the concentrations on the efforts of the Marines to conquer the Pacific Islands, an explanation as to just how difficult those battles were, how little quarter was given by either side to the other and the terrible estimates that those in charge of the invasions made concerning how much effort it would take to conquer places like Peleliu and Iwo Jima as well as a description of just how much suffering the atom bombs caused in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The latter is especially hard to listen to, but is balanced by details about both the Japanese atrocities in China and against US prisoners of war including the execution of some American POWs after the war against Japan had ended.

However, much of the rest of the book seems superficial and much information is missing. While this book may be a very good read for those who have not already read much on the Pacific Theater in World War II there is little here that will add to information those well read on the subject will already have and some of the information is either incorrect or misleading. Some examples:

Mr O’Reilly makes a point that the invasion of the Pacific Islands are “unique” in that the troops involved in the invasion had to travel 4000 miles from the US rather than the 20 miles from England to Normandy, but completely ignores the amphibious invasions of North Africa (Operation Torch) where some US troops sailed from the US rather than from England and thus covered a similar distance to the landings. Thus the Pacific Landings were not “unique” in the distances covered.

Mr O’Reilly makes a statement that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor led to the US declaration of war against Japan and Germany. This is incorrect as the Pearl Harbor attack only led to a US declaration of war against Japan. The US did not declare war on Germany until Germany, 4 days later, declared war on the US.

Mr O’Reilly makes the statement that Douglas MacArthur, in this 5 star rank, was the ranking general on both sides of the war. While he did rank above Dwight Eisenhower his date of rank, and thus his seniority, placed him below George Marshall.

Aside from the incorrect statements in the book the most annoying thing for me was an omission. Mr O’Reilly covers the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan and the subsequent dithering of the Japanese on the subject of surrender and the decision as to whether or not to continue the bombing campaign, but makes no mention of whether there were any more atomic bombs to drop. I have seen several statements that there were, and there were not, additional atomic bombs available and it would have been nice to have had some kind of historic statement in a book concerning whether or not those bombs were actually available.

While the book is interesting reading I can only recommend it for those with no prior knowledge of the Pacific Theater in World War II. Whose who have already read about the Pacific war will find little or nothing really new here, however I have no hesitation in recommending it to those not already familiar with the Pacific war. Just understand that this is not a deep look into the war but rather a surface reading of those events. The narration is first class.
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- Mike From Mesa "MikeFromMesa"

Wished it was read by Bill O'Reilly

I'm only on chapter 4 but the story so far is great, as expected. Part of the wonderful story telling in the "Killing" series the narration by Bill O'Reilly. I love his tone, inflection and the passion that comes across in his voice by telling the story he helped pen. It's just not the same with a different narrator.
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- Scott

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-13-2016
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio