The Rising Sun

  • by John Toland
  • Narrated by Tom Weiner
  • 41 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This Pulitzer Prize-winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, The Rising Sun is, in the author’s words, "a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened - muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox."
In weaving together the historical facts and human drama leading up to and culminating in the war in the Pacific, Toland crafts a riveting and unbiased narrative history.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Phenomenal account

Would you listen to The Rising Sun again? Why?

No. It was long, and detailed. Something that I'll remember, but not want to revisit.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Surprisingly, I did. I was moved at the end of the book by the Emperor in the final days of the war.


Any additional comments?

This is a fantastic account of WWII Japan. Spanning the time period from, roughly, the Marco-Polo bridge incident to the occupation of Japan, the narrative is delivered from the Japanese perspective. The book gives accounts, biography and personal antidotes about the major players of Japan in this time period - the Emperor, the Prime Minister, Ambassadors, generals, etc - but is also does the same for common soldiers, civilians, seamen and pilots. The book explores the human, cultural, economic and religious cost of the war and does a good job of explaining thoughts, concepts and motivations that were and are wholly foreign to the western belligerents.

This book is a great read for anyone interested in the eastern pacific as the events relayed in this book cast a long shadow over the future of pacific Asia.

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- Matt

The pacific war from inside the Japanese empire

Any additional comments?

Comprehensive and compelling history of the war in the pacific from the Japanese empire point of view. This is gripping military as well as political history which seeks to shed light on the motivations of Japanese society and the military clique which led Japan into and through its disastrous policies of aggressive expansionism. It is reminiscent of Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and I would say is a must read for those with an interest in WWII. Toland intersperses the narrative with many first person accounts as well as analysis. Pulls no punches while at the same time offers a nuanced take of events. My only criticism is that the primary focus here is the pacific war against the United States with far lesser detail given to the India, Burma, and China. Nevertheless, I found this a monumental work of history. The narration is very capable and keeps things moving along.

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- Scott

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-27-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.