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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.

©1970 John Toland (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing historical and insigful.

I have taken an interest in te Pacific War and have read a few scholarly tomes on the subject. I find most of them when it comes to the Japanese side of the war are still locked in the propaganda of the time and the Japanese are widely seen through a one dimensional stereotype of a "fanatic" and bushido is used way too often to explain their character . This work has changed all that as now for the first time I get a sense of hoe the Japanese viewed themselves, viewed the war, viewed the world. It treats the Japanese as humans while not being "revisionist" or apologetic history. Love this!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

a very detailed account of Americas pacific war

I would like to say how interesting & engaging I found this book . There were numerous anecdotes and details that brought the history alive . I particularly found the pre war political intrigues in Japan very informative . My main criticism would be the very brief almost off handed way that he dealt with the fighting in New Guinea . There are also some errors of fact .Tolland stated that Australian troops in New Guinea were under the command of US general Eichelberger , this is incorrect . Australian forces were always under Australian command & were the majority of troops who fought in New Guinea .The fighting on Guadalcanal is shown in great detail but the far deadlier fighting in New Guinea (were your chances of death in battle was far greater ) ,is skipped over or virtually ignored . Take for instance the treatment of the battle of Tenaru River . This is given in great detail , but the far greater battle of Isurava does not even get a mention .I feel that this is a very good book about the American war in the Pacific . It however continues the habit of side lining or ignoring the contribution of the Australian forces who are often referred to as “allies , or MacArthur’s” troops rather as AIF or Australian forces . All in all this is a good read but is weak on the land war for the first 6-8 months of 1942 .

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • paul
  • 12-05-2015

Long but worthy bit of military history

Slightly hard to follow the characters with a lot of similar but different names but I enjoyed catching a chunk of history I never studied . Well narrated book and a gripping story with more humanity than i had expected. After some time it moves from the character of the Japanese to be a catalogue of the various military engements and that was its only disappointment , I dint really get to know more about what was hapeining or being said by the average man in japan in this period . Not sure ill ever understand the Japanese culture for the glorification of death at the time and I hope the people of modern Japan don't understand it either . General Macarther doesn't come out to favourably either . Good book though and would recommend if you want a broad sweep of this period of Japanese military history

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • R
  • 26-06-2015

The stupidity of war

Where does The Rising Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As a historic piece of work it has plenty of detail. It opens up the political system that shows there was no democracy and the military were the real power and not the Emperor. It shows a different perspective than what we were led to believe.

What did you like best about this story?

The poor quality of leadership. It exposes the fundamental failures of the willingness to waste life for no gain other than that of saving face. The pre Pearl Harbour events especially that took place in the parliament were a real eye opener. It appears no one wanted war with the USA and the European powers but didn't know how to stop it happening.

Which character – as performed by Tom Weiner – was your favourite?

Admirable Yamamoto is an obvious choice as he was the man who took them to war but did warn that he could not give them victory - Tom put Yamamoto into the character of not just the tactician but also the political military man

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Sun that rises, also sets

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tarjinder
  • 28-04-2018

the rising sun

outstanding audio book for a person like me who loves military history it's fantastic and it's fascinating to hear the Japanese perspective

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 09-03-2017

when a competant narrator and book dont synergise

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This is a detailed retelling of events. Needed a more enthused/lively narrator.

What didn’t you like about Tom Weiner’s performance?

While his dry narration style would work well for many books, this one is a quite detailed retelling of political and mitaryevents.... The two together made the listen very heavy going.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The writing is ok, the narrator ok...but the two together just made getting through it a chore.

Any additional comments?

I normally love history audios, but this just dragged. Its not terrible but the listen is distinctly stodgy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L. Bach
  • 02-03-2017

Fascinating overview of WWII

Great telling from the Japanese's POV. The political players were well described and can easily be pictured in my mind. I'm not convinced that the voice acting by the narrator was really necessary and some of it was off putting.

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  • Mikis
  • 28-04-2015

Essential reading

Exceptional quality and depth. Good as a thorough recap of a near-forgotten story. Almost forgotten in today's world that is so preoccupied with China's rise.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MR A M INNES
  • 18-03-2015

Excellent Miltary history reference.

Very detailed and accurate. particularly liked the eye witness accounts of Iwo Jima and the atomic bombs. Well narated and an in depth insight from both sides.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Phillip Middleton
  • 01-09-2016

poor reading of a good book

the monotone of the reader spoiled this book for me I know Toland's work and the comparison with his Hitler book is very telling Sorry to be so blunt but this reader should find other work

0 of 2 people found this review helpful