- By John Willard Toland

The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945

  • Title: The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945
  • Author: John Willard Toland
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 488
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Rising Sun The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire This Pulitzer Prize winning history of WWII chronicles the dramatic rise fall of the Japanese empire from the invasion of Manchuria China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima Nagasaki Told from a Japan

    This Pulitzer Prize winning history of WWII chronicles the dramatic rise fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima Nagasaki Told from a 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 asThis Pulitzer Prize winning history of WWII chronicles the dramatic rise fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima Nagasaki Told from a 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 human drama leading up to culminating in the war in the Pacific, Toland crafts an unbiased narrative history In his Foreword, he writes that if we re to draw any conclusion from The Rising Sun, it s that there are no simple lessons in history, that it is human nature that repeats itself, not history.

    1 thought on “The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945

    1. By my last count, there were one gazillion books on World War II, with more coming out every week. And it will never stop. World War II will continue to be refought between the covers – and on Kindles – long after human memory of the event is gone. It will be told for as long as there are people to tell stories. The question, then, is which of those books to read? You can spend your entire life reading World War II books and not even scratch the surface. Besides, there are other things to do [...]

    2. This book explores Japan’s involvement in World War II. It focuses upon the Pacific theater and upon battles, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and finally it explains in detail why it took so long for the Japanese to surrender. All related to the Japanese involvement is covered in detail. It is not hard to follow because it written in a narrative voice projecting the views thoughts and words of those who fought, both Americans and Japanese. What is difficult is the slaughter. Slaughter on [...]

    3. Looking for a relatively light read I picked this off the shelves where it had been sitting for years. Having read a couple of his other books, I was pretty sure that Toland would be interesting.Indeed, he was--even more interesting than I had expected, neither expecting that this book would be so sympathetic to the Japanese perspective nor that Toland's wife was Japanese. No expert, but certainly not unread about the war in the Pacific, I was rather blown away by the presentation, the other boo [...]

    4. With a Nobel prize winning book, John Toland accomplishes telling the Japanese side of WWII. The 1930’s were an interesting time in Asia. Japan had an exploding population and no natural resources. They also had a very dangerous enemy in Communist Soviet Union threatening her. Japan’s solution laid in Northern China’s Manchuria. They occupied Manchuria easily because China was too weak to defend it. Japanese business moved in and Japanese populated it. Manchuria provided a number of benefi [...]

    5. This is the third big book on the Pacific War I have read recently. Ian Toll's first two books (of a planned trilogy), Pacific Crucible and The Conquering Tide, were a magnificent historical account of the war from both sides. So given that this book covers much the same ground, though it was written much earlier, I will do a lot of comparing with Toll's books, though I think Toland's book is equally good and you will not find it at all repetitive to read both authors.As thick as this book is, i [...]

    6. Winner of the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, this book covers the War in the Pacific from a Japanese perspective. Extensive, well researched and readable, covering the timeframe from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.After the Japanese invasion in Manchuria, the book starts of with the efforts of the American ambassador and the Foreign Minister of Japan to try to prevent war due to the boycot that the Western powers have established [...]

    7. I took far too many notes on this book trying to remember the events and people that dot these pages. But what resounds more than these pages of notes, is my belief that Tolland's greatest success is in what he didn't do: Tolland avoided the Cold War lens and the Great Man theory. In avoiding these pit falls, he has not only written a fascinating, highly readable book (especially considering it's length), but he has set a standard by which I think all history books should be held.The Cold War le [...]

    8. An epic account of the Japanese war. Toland tells the story from many different perspectives – from the Emperor and his aides to the lowly soldier trapped in Guadalcanal. It is all here – the prelude to Pearl Harbour to the finale of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many aspects are of interest – the Japanese were continually obsessed with striking the fatal knock-out blow. At Pearl Harbour they believed they had accomplished that. They tried again at Midway, Tarawa (to be held for [...]

    9. This is one of the best books on Pacific War especially from a Japanese point of view that I have read. A detailed description of the Japanese aggression (in short form) and collapse (in long form) in World War Ii, told from the perspective of "inside the Japanese governmental and military command structures. I will not forget the build up to the Pearl Harbor attack and the strategy that was employed. The Japanese high command, both the Army as well as the Navy knew that they were waking up a sl [...]

    10. I love John Toland. He may be one of the most prolific historians during my lifetime. Possibly a precursor to the popular historians such as McCullough or Ambrose. I read his well received, but not academically praised biography of Hitler, and the controversial Day of Infamy and I thought that those books were both well done and convincing; however, I have shied away from The Rising Sun, more from its intimidating length than its content. It is immense - running nearly a thousand pages with ampl [...]

    11. Mammoth history of Japan's involvement in the Second World War. Toland seeks to emulate the sweep, if not the editorial tone of Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, mixing high-level cabinet deliberations and diplomacy with military strategy and the on-the-ground experience of Japanese soldiers and sailors. Toland's portrait shows a Japanese leadership eager to exploit China but agonizing over their decision to attack America and Britain, the division among Japan's military and political l [...]

    12. The definitive source regarding the view of WWII from the Japanese perspective. An amazing amount of insight and information. Cannot recommend highly enough for those interested in WWII.

    13. I found this to be two books in one. The first half covers the diplomatic, military, and economic reasons that led to World War II. It does so by weaving accounts of Japanese officers and government officials with the historical record all while appearing to avoid the narrative fallacy. The second half of this book covers the war in the Pacific. Unfortunately, it does so at a more tactical level filled with anecdotes and human interest stories as opposed to the macro level approach that made the [...]

    14. I generally avoid histories of WWII. I enjoy history immensely but between Hollywood, the History Channel, and the vast array of fictions and histories this war has been done to death. I would guess the reason for this is that it is still in our living memories, it was the last war with a clear line between good and evil, and because it was readily captured by contemporary visual media and preserved for us to see everyday. Having said that I still occasionally pick-up a WWII history if it has so [...]

    15. Old, reread after O'Reily's book, Toland has more from the Japanese side. Can see O'Reily used it as a reference. Especially the Russian-Manchuria part at end of WW2. Good history book, required reading for this generation.

    16. This is indeed similar in scope (but superior) to Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. In fact, I don't know why this one is titled Decline and Fall rather than Rise and Fall. Maybe that's my ignorance of Japan's expansion before 1936. In any case, Toland tells the story from Japanese documents and interviews, though I hesitate to say that an American is giving a Japanese point of view. It was interesting to me to read at the beginning that rebelling Army officers were motivated by the pov [...]

    17. This exceptional, Pulitzer prize-winning book tells the story of the Japanese empire from the takeover by militarists among assassinations in early 1936 to the unprecedented visit by emperor Hirohito to Supreme Commander MacArthur in September 1945. In between it is a story of hubris in which a strong and vibrant people allow faulty leaders to guide them from a dominant role in the far East (in which they held Manchuria, Korea and other territories like the Caroline, the Marshall, the Palau or t [...]

    18. Wow, Japan had logical reasons for attacking us. Who knew? Japan viewed its expansion in Asia as equivalent to the U.S. continental expansion and power grab in the western hemisphere.Why would the U.S. stop another with a near identical view of national destiny. Japan adopted All-American values like crushing "lesser" people, gobbling resources for exploitation, and providing economic opportunity for a burgeoning population at home. All this was conducted under a parliamentary democracy determin [...]

    19. Excellent narrative history of Japan's experience in World War II, examining the issues and circumstances leading to Japan's involvement, strategic battles and encounters throughout, and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I must confess that I tapped out at various points in my reading of this book, but that doesn't mean that it didn't have tremendous value. Toland offers writing here that ought to please all readers of history, whether it be to gain factual or strategic knowledge or to get [...]

    20. This is quite a long book, and covers an overview of the Japanese involvement in World War II. It goes into quite a bit of minute detail about the "war is hell" parts of things, and a lot of the politics - which was quite interesting - but in general I still feel it does not paint the full picture. I think very little mention was made of the numerous war crimes committed by the Japanese - the book touches on it in the description of the Bataan Death March, but that seemed like just another incid [...]

    21. The inspiration to read this book came from reading Eri Hotta's Japan 1941. The confused, leaderless Japanese government that led the nation from one blunder to the next almost tripped and fell into conflict with the largest industrial power in the world; I wanted a broader view of how something like this could be possible.This book does not disappoint: it begins with the 2/26 incident, when hardline Army officers attempted to overthrow the government, and traces the subsequent years of slow shi [...]

    22. Written from the viewpoint of the Japanese, the book explains the Japanese thought process leading to war with the US, Britain, and the Netherlands and finishes at the US victory at Guadalcanal. John Toland uses historical interviews of Japanese Generals and politicians for this story, those that survived the war that is. I learned quite a bit from this book. I did not realize how divided the Japanese were about going to war, nor did I fully understand the Japanese political undercurrents of the [...]

    23. It was enjoyable. It was nice to see things from the Japanese perspective. If you can follow the logic, you can see one of the huge problems of nationalism. You can also see repeated thinking, where the Japanese Navy kept thinking in terms of the 1904 Russo-Japanese War, and kept looking for THE decisive battle, rather than trying to create a defensible perimeter. There isn't too much focus on Japanese atrocities, that is well covered in a great deal of the literature, neither is it glossed over [...]

    24. A brilliant, excellently written book. If I'd read this, I probably wouldn't have bothered going back to have a look at many of the others that I read while in search of a book like this (Though I'm glad I did). The book reads like a novel, and is just as enthralling. However, it doesn't have much to say about the darker aspects of the Japanese War Effort, and definitely takes a more pro - Japanese position on many of the events leading up to the war. Still, despite this an excellent read, thoug [...]

    25. John Toland recounts the history of the Pacific War from the years leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor until Japan’s surrender to the Allies in magnificent detail. His copious research and numerous interviews with individuals ranging from the lowly foot soldier to the highest levels of military and civilian authority results in a narrative history with true epic sweep. Toland has a novelist's eye that recreates events in riveting fashion and an analytical mind that explains strategy and moti [...]

    26. I'm really torn judging this book. On one hand it is extremely well sourced and I was amazed by the variety of information and dialogues here. It was especially worthwhile to read about the road to war between Japan and USA and the last days before Japan's surrender. On the other hand, some of the personal stories were boring for me and kept me from following the big picture, in which I was interested. Still- a fantastic read.

    27. While perhaps too detailed for some and too American-oriented for others, Toland's study has stood the test of time. It - in my view anyway - is truly balanced and incredibly detailed. It's insights are valid, it's judgements insightful. Not a quick, nor simple, read but certainly a worthy use of your time.

    28. A wonderful story of the Pacific side of World War II. Toland tells a story from the point of view of officers, generals, and common soldiers on both sides.

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