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Publisher's Summary

By the summer of 1944 it was clear that Japan's defeat was inevitable, but how the drive to victory would be achieved remained unclear. The ensuing drama - that ended in Japan's utter devastation - was acted out across the vast theater of Asia in massive clashes between army, air, and naval forces. In recounting these extraordinary events, Max Hastings draws incisive portraits of MacArthur, Mao, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and other key figures of the war in the East. But he is equally adept in his portrayals of the ordinary soldiers and sailors caught in the bloodiest of campaigns. With its piercing and convincing analysis, Retribution is a brilliant telling of an epic conflict from a master military historian at the height of his powers.

©2007 Max Hastings (P)2008 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Hastings does it again.

As usual Max Hastings creates a vivid account the World War II battle this seldom seen perspective on the Pacific campaign is unparalleled.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A superb study by one of the world's finest histor

Where does Retribution rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among the top 5

What was one of the most memorable moments of Retribution?

Discussion of Japanese behavior in China and Philippines

Which scene was your favorite?

Battle for Manila

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators. His clear diction, pacing, and intonation convey the author's intentions perfectly. Like many English speakers, however, his pronunciation of Japanese proper names is sometimes incorrect. For example, the name "Yamashita" is not pronounced as "Ya-ma-she-ta" it is pronounced as "Ya-ma-sh'ta;" "Yoshiko" is not "Yo-she-ko" it is "Yo-sh'ko;" and the two famous cities. Tokyo and Kyoto are pronounced as two syllables, not three: not "To-key-oh" but "To-quo" and not "Key-oh-to" but "Quo-to."

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Must Read!

If you could sum up Retribution in three words, what would they be?

Illuminating, Clear, Inspiring

What other book might you compare Retribution to and why?

As we go further away from the Pacific War - now about 70 plus years - new works are coming out all the time. Because of that, it is hard to find comparisons to this work.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

None really stand out in my mind although, when I first heard Mr Vance go into character, I was both surprised and delighted.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Chapter 19 and its crystal clear summary of the events that lead to the dropping of the atomic bomb. There are so many wild and whacky revisions swirling around the decision to drop the bombs and Mr Hastings’ work confidently deals with these theories with his use of historical records and facts and puts emotional opinions aside. He does what good historians do, and that is getting inside the heads of the decision makers of the period bases on primary sources. I recommend his whole work, but if you can only read one chapter, that chapter should not be missed.

Any additional comments?

Mr Vance’s Japanese pronunciation was not perfect and at times it was irritating but overall was better then some of the other readers I have come across.
I recommend this book to everyone who wants to have a ride into and through the period and the huge events that still echo in the country I have called home for over forty years… Japan!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Historical Must Read! Max Hastings Delivers Again!

Addresses US use of Atomic Bomb without the biased "facts" normally used by advocates/opponents in supporting their opinion of the morale argument to use/withhold the A-Bomb in Hiroshima & Nagasaki at conclusion of World War II. Excellent insight into Japaneese internal politics and this book is definitely a must read for WWII aficionados.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

Simon Vance does an excellent job. The book is fantastic and a must read (listen) for anyone interested in the Pacific War. Read along with Neptune's Inferno, Retribution caps an awe inspiring and essential learning experience.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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another outstanding world war 2 history

max hasting writes some of the best histories of world war 2. wonderful research brings less know facts to light. his writing is easy to follow and comprehend. his strong bias for all things British is the only flaw I can find in all his books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Details, Details, Details!

Mr. Hastings brings details and the lives involved within stories I've heard often to life. I will definitely be looking for more of his objective, informative and interesting work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding work

This is excellent historical analysis of the Pacific conflict in 1944-45. Max Hastings does a wonderful job of bringing in other theaters of conflict such as Burma, China and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

A book not delwing too deep into the military operations themselves, this book is rather absolutely packed with personal accounts from the closing year of the war!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unique approach, new angle, fascinating read.

I like this author and I wasn't disappointed. Rather than the standard linear/chronological approach, Hastings weaves a consistent thematic approach with many first person accounts--especially from the Japanese view point. New insights about The Bomb are particularly insightful and still relevant today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful