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Much of the material in this book has never been published before, and it casts new and startling light on events that shook the countries of Asia. Spector examines recently released material on these events from Soviet and Chinese archives and two top-secret intelligence records released by the United States, as well as newly available Japanese documents. In addition, the author chronicles the individual stories of some of the Americans who were sent in to rescue prisoners of war and to tend to the surrender and repatriation of millions of Japanese.
"The battles fought all over postwar Asia, as recounted by a historian whose last three books have been History Book Club main selections." ( Library Journal)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By S on 02-19-08
Informative, but not an engrossing listen
Some parts are better than others; Vietnam for example; Indonesia; and parts of the Japan and China chapters. But there is very little closure and chapters seem to end out of the blue- then jump to another country without any structure or method to it. Sometimes, more questions are raised than answered, but for someone who is interested in US history in Asia and Post WW2 history in Asia, there are some nice gems to be found. I wouldn't read it without having some background on Asia, though- you might get a little lost. It doesn't fly like some of the other books I've listened to here, but it is interesting and covers ground that is rarely mentioned in the US. Especially interesting for those interested in Post-Colonialism.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Rodney on 02-11-12
This is a great book for understanding Asia in the post WWII world -- I can honestly say probably 80% of this book was brand new to me. I knew a lot about the European theater and I knew quite a bit about the Pacific theater up until the war ended, however I knew almost nothing about what happened next. This books was extremely interesting from that stand point and I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to understand how we've gotten to where we are.
One negative is the very stupid, short sighted and overly political statements basically comparing events of this era to the Iraq. If you include the war and the post war hundreds of millions died around the world during the WWII and post WWII era, to compare a relatively minor conflict like Iraq to that is just nonsense and based purely on politics. Luckily it's a short few comments here and there and doesn't seem to affect the overall bias of the book.
In closing my criticism is minor and I highly recommend you give this a read.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful