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The Rape of Nanking | [Iris Chang]

The Rape of Nanking

In December 1937, in the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly, the story of this atrocity- one of the worst in world history- continues to be denied by the Japanese government.
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Publisher's Summary

In December 1937, in the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly, the story of this atrocity- one of the worst in world history- continues to be denied by the Japanese government.

The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers who performed it; of the Chinese civilians who endured it; and finally of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. It was Iris Chang who discovered the diaries of the German leader of this rescue effort, John Rabe, whom she calls the "Oskar Schindler of China." A loyal supporter of Adolf Hitler, but far from the terror planned in his Nazi-controlled homeland, he worked tirelessly to save the innocent from slaughter.

Listen to Iris Chang talk about this book on C-SPAN's Booknotes (11/17/97).

©1997 by Iris Chang (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

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4.2 (249 )
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  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 09-05-09
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 09-05-09 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Powerful"

    I disagree with one of the other reviewers who said that this book was biased. Chang makes a point of saying that this type of atrocity is not limited to the Japanese people and she gives credit to some Japanese officials who wept when they saw what had taken place. She merely points out that this event in history is too often overlooked. While almost everyone knows about the Holocaust, how many can tell the hideous tales of Nanking, Baatan (Tears In The Darkness) or of Pol Pot in Cambodia (To Destroy You Is No Loss)? We must learn from these historical horrors as well, and, most importantly, as Chang says, acknowledge their victims.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    despinne Edgewater, MD, United States 03-15-03
    despinne Edgewater, MD, United States 03-15-03 Member Since 2000
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    "Well worth your time"

    The story is reviewed very well. This is a formerly untold war story about Japanese atrocities. While this may put you off, the book was very well written and gives you a perspective of China toward Japanese that may continue to this day.

    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Dallas, OR 09-27-10
    Mike Dallas, OR 09-27-10 Member Since 2002
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    "A Story that needed telling!"

    I've heard the term much of my life. I lived through WWII and never got the details on what the "Rape of Nanking" meant. This was a story I needed to hear. The Japanese culture needs correcting....but only exposes like this will let the current generation know what thier forebears did.......

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith O'Loane 02-01-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Book but makes you wonder..."
    Would you listen to The Rape of Nanking again? Why?

    Yes


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The German Doctor, he was a sense of sanity in the insanity


    Any additional comments?

    After listening to this book I wonder why we don't hear more about the Japanese need to apologize for the atrocities they committed. The accounts in this book are quite disturbing, to think the human beings can do these things to other humans just proves that people are not basically good. This is definitely an R rated book because of the descriptions of the horror committed by the soldiers, be very wary of listening in front of kids. If you want a perspective on what the Japanese were like during WWII this will give it to you. If you like history without the rose colored glasses you will like this.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard swanseaUnited Kingdom 10-27-09
    Richard swanseaUnited Kingdom 10-27-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very intense and interesting"

    Excellent listening and well worth learning or even knowing about..as to the events..research is an option to the facts for the reader, but whatever side you sit.the message of this story is clear,because today as I type history still repeats itself and always has denial in some quarters as to if it really happened and who was to blame. My daughter has to visit japan with me, and at 17yrs just to face her inbuilt deep hate of this historical event and its people, we all can argue to the end of time. but there are enough empty vessels in this world with self given titles of importance, so as if you need anything done in this world do it yourself,even before our trip my daughter has herself found some japanese at school have become good friends to her, and even they themselfs feared to talk to her at first due to this past event in their history. how sad even we pass our hate and fear of other cultures etc to our children..with the story I actually do not find that something like this could never happen, because we are of this nature all over the world, easy to destroy ..hard to welcome and be inviting to others without some personal gain,and to fear that which we do not know,I believe I experienced a brief window in to it in this book, the actual depth of the events I can not say if accurate 100% or not, still there must be some base to them. it is very well put across with sincerity and passion,and made me feel I was actually there at times so much I could not stop listening to it, I did not expect some of the content to keep popping up in my mind even after 3 years or more, but when thinking about that, shouldnt it be what the reading is about..to stop another Nanking in any form..

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billie Carmel, CA 01-18-12
    Billie Carmel, CA 01-18-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Critically Important, But Too Much to Stomach"
    What did you like best about The Rape of Nanking? What did you like least?

    The book chronicles such an important part of world history that has mostly been ignored and needs to be told. I was unaware of the horrible events that occurred during the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 until I got this book. The sordid details are so horrendous that you only need to hear them once (if that), but the author retells the most horrific events again and again throughout the book. It was too much and I was unable to finish the book. I didn't need to be hit over the head with the blood and gore, and would have liked to hear a little more elaboration on the events leading up to an entire army turning into psychopaths of the highest order.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas WATERFORD, MI, United States 12-30-11
    Thomas WATERFORD, MI, United States 12-30-11 Member Since 2001

    Mostly non-fiction: biographies, history, science, etc.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best narrator!"

    Iris Chang's crisp and economic delivery makes this one of the best nonfiction audiobooks I have ever enjoyed.

    The evil perpetrated upon the conquered Chinese by the Japanese is appalling. To think, even the local Nazi contingent felt things had gone too far and set up a safe zone for the persecuted to find succor behind the swastika...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul. MOORPARK, CA, United States 12-12-11
    Paul. MOORPARK, CA, United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Terrible story that you need to hear."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    To have a world view of things, you need to know some history.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Robles, the top Nazi in the area. He grasped what to do, in order to save lives.


    What does Anna Fields bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I really don't think I could have read the book.


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

    Deep impression.


    Any additional comments?

    This will be on reading ( listining lists ).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Satoru KanazawaJapan 12-23-05
    Satoru KanazawaJapan 12-23-05 Member Since 2004
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    "good reminder but not balanced"

    I downloaded this audio book because I wanted to know what my grandfathers and grandmothers did during the WW.The author described the wartime atrocities so vividly and acurately and I'm sure this is what happened then.However,when I finished reading this book ,I got the feeling that this author is a bit biased and unfair.First of all,Japanese Prime Minister has apologized to the chinese over and over again(as he did in 2005,maybe you saw it on CNN) and secondly Japan sends $1bil annually not as reparation but as ODA.(Which contradicts this authors accuasation that Japan hasn't sent money to China)And the chinese government spends that amount of money reinforcing its military as you know.As for the text book,I was strongly appalled that the author didn't mention that only 0.1% of the students in Japan use the text book which whitewashed our war time atrocities,published by "atarashii kyokasowo tsukurukai"and chinese text book is more whitewashed and censored by chinese govenment.
    I feel sorry for chinese victims and I want to apologize on behalf of my grandfather(who passed away 50 years ago) for the crimes commited by Japanese troops 70 years ago.

    9 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Birmingham, AL, USA 07-14-04
    Jane Birmingham, AL, USA 07-14-04 Member Since 2003
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    "Mixed feelings"

    I wanted to learn more about the hidden or unacknowledged atrocities that happened to the Chinese people during World War II and so downloaded this book. This book did an excellent job of informing the reader of everything that occurred. The problem is, the book becomes so overwhelming that the reader becomes desensitized to the events written herein. I think had the book been a little better oragnized, it would have done the events more justice. As a reader, I truly wanted to sympathize with the people who suffered these tragic events, unfortunately, their story teller (aka the author) was not effective.

    4 of 10 people found this review helpful
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