• Last Mission to Tokyo

  • The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raiders and Their Final Fight for Justice
  • By: Michel Paradis
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Superb...[Paradis] writes history with ease and authority.” (The Wall Street Journal

“[An] engrossing procedural...Richly researched.” (The New York Times Book Review

A thrilling narrative that introduces a key but underreported moment in World War II: The Doolitte Raids and the international war crimes trial in 1945 that defined Japanese-American relations and changed legal history.

In 1942, freshly humiliated from the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States was in search of a plan. President Roosevelt, determined to show the world that our nation would not be intimidated or defeated by enemy powers, demanded recommendations for a show of strength. Jimmy Doolittle, a stunt pilot with a doctorate from MIT, came forward and led 80 young men, gathered together from the far-flung corners of Depression-era America, on a seemingly impossible mission across the Pacific. Sixteen planes in all, they only had enough fuel for a one-way trip. Together, the Raiders, as they were called, did what no one had successfully done for more than a thousand years. They struck the mainland of Japan and permanently turned the tide of the war in the Pacific. 

Almost immediately, the Doolittle Raid captured the public imagination and has remained a seminal moment in World War II history, but the heroism and bravery of the mission is only half the story. In Last Mission to Tokyo, Michel Paradis reveals the dramatic aftermath of the mission, which involved two lost crews captured, tried, and tortured at the hands of the Japanese, a dramatic rescue of the survivors in the last weeks of World War II, and an international manhunt and trial led by two dynamic and opposing young lawyers - in which both the United States and Japan accused the other of war crimes - that would change the face of our legal and military history. 

Perfect for fans of Lucky 666 and Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial, Last Mission to Tokyo is a thrilling war story-meets-courtroom-drama that explores a key moment in World War II. 

©2020 Michel Paradis (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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

terrific book, excellently rendered to audio

This is a terrific story, that expands on a small sliver of [mostly distorted] history within the broader story of the Doolittle Raid. It provides a different interpretation, convincingly, than I had been taught -- the one I had emphasized the "littleness" of the damage & suggested the Japanese were able to shrug the whole thing off. The author demonstrates that the raid was instrumental in the subsequent [disasterous for Japan] Midway expedition, and that the raid resulted in the intensification of rivalries within the Japanese cabinet. The author also shows how the foregoing, combined with the collateral/civilian damage from the raid (firmly denied by the Doolittle raid participants) led to the events of the imprisonment, torture, executions of the captured raiders. The author also provides an object lesson about how hard it is to achieve a truthful & fair war crimes trial, something that applies to the trial of the Japanese in Shanghai & to the Al Quaida in America's 100-year old Cuban colony in Guantanamo. Highly recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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riveting

Japan is a secondary when it comes to WWII. We think of Germany, Hitler, and the Holocaust.
Author worked hard at showing us a side of the war that we do not normally see.
The story of the POWs that came home from Japan is astounding.
Descriptions of the beheadings is very vivid.
Great book

2 people found this helpful

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Bait and switch

I was drawn to the book by the topic, reviews and summaries of the book. But starting in Chpt 1 the author chose to emphasize the Mormon religion. Glaringly out of place . Chapter 2 continues the Mormon religion.
Not the topic where I’d expect or want this kind of content - so detailed on the case of the Mormon aviator but none of the other fliers that it seems the author’s sole intent is to proselytize, which is sad as the rest of the story needs telling. Returning for credit.

2 people found this helpful

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if your heroes are lawyers and war criminals.....

Sorry, but this book was way too sympathetic to the Japanese soldiers, who were truly war criminals. The "heroes" in this book were the lawyers, who seemed to be motivated in making a name for themselves.

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could not download.

could not download more than half of the book. Would like to cancel this book.

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Great Untold Story

I knew about Doolittle Raid but now know the fate of the missing crews. This book was at times boring but does keep you interested. The book was not much about the mission (which is what I was expecting and hoping for) but more of the trials which made it interesting. Well researched and well written, easy to understand for being a trial. Overall a great book to read.

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It’s great

It really broke down the trial and added a human element to it more words