Rampage

MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila
Narrated by: Jesse Einstein
Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
Categories: History, Asia
4.5 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The definitive history of one of the most brutal campaigns of the war in the Pacific.   

Before World War II, Manila was a slice of America in Asia, populated with elegant neoclassical buildings, spacious parks, and home to thousands of US servicemen and business executives who enjoyed the relaxed pace of the tropics. The outbreak of the war, however, brought an end to the good life. General Douglas MacArthur, hoping to protect the Pearl of the Orient, declared the Philippine capital an open city and evacuated his forces. The Japanese seized Manila on January 2, 1942, rounding up and interning thousands of Americans.   

MacArthur, who escaped soon after to Australia, famously vowed to return. For nearly three years, he clawed his way north, obsessed with redeeming his promise and turning his earlier defeat into victory. By early 1945, he prepared to liberate Manila, a city whose residents by then faced widespread starvation. Convinced the Japanese would abandon the city as he did, MacArthur planned a victory parade down Dewey Boulevard. But the enemy had other plans. Determined to fight to the death, Japanese marines barricaded intersections, converted buildings into fortresses, and booby-trapped stores, graveyards, and even dead bodies.   

The 29-day battle to liberate Manila resulted in the catastrophic destruction of the city and a rampage by Japanese forces that brutalized the civilian population. Landmarks were demolished, houses were torched, suspected resistance fighters were tortured and killed, countless women were raped, and their husbands and children were murdered. American troops had no choice but to battle the enemy, floor by floor and even room by room, through schools, hospitals, and even sports stadiums. In the end, an estimated 100,000 civilians lost their lives in a massacre as heinous as the Rape of Nanking.   

Based on extensive research in the United States and the Philippines, including war-crimes testimony, after-action reports, and survivor interviews, Rampage recounts one of the most heartbreaking chapters of Pacific War history.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 James M. Scott (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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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

TRUE CRIME OF PURE HELL

I AM WRITING PART OF THIS REVIEW IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE THE STORY ITSELF SHOUTS FOR JUSTICE IN THE WORST ATROCITY MANILLA FACED BY THE JAPANESE DURING WORLD WAR II.

It is the BEST TRUE CRIME story of the 20th century. Over 500,000 civilians were slaughtered, killed, raped, stabbed and left to die during a four month period in the South Pacific for no reason except FOR THE LOVE OF MURDER!

BEWARE OF THE DESCRIPTIONS AND THE GRUESOME GRAPHIC DETAILS PAINTED IN THE SAGA OF RAMPAGE. It is so detailed that I literally got sick listening to it...yet I could not take my headsets off.

One does not have to be a history buff in order to understand what mankind is capable of. It is the kind of story that all high school students should read or listen to.

I've said this before. THIS IS THE BEST TRUE CRIME BOOK I HAVE EVER LISTENED TO. I guess when something better comes along I want to correct my other true crime reviews. It is not for the faint of heart. In fact it is almost X-Rated because the author paints a picture that I probably will never get out of my mind. JAMES M. SCOTT PAINTS TRUE CRIMES OF PURE HELL!

Do not pass this listen up. The characters in this book makes Gacey, Manson, and Jeffery Dalmer look like Boy Scouts.
YOU WILL NEVER FORGET IT!

THANKS FOR READING MY REVIEW, Steve

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book but amateur narration

I purchased this audio book based on the author’s previous stellar work, Target Tokyo. While the book is good and highlights a chapter of WWII history that is often overlooked, the narration is, unfortunately, very amateur in quality. I fail to understand why any narrator would be allowed to read a book of military history and make such obvious mistakes of pronunciation regarding military terms. Doesn’t the publisher employ the equivalent of a listening “proof-reader” to make sure the military terminology is pronounced correctly? For example, the junior Naval Officer rank is not pronounced “IN-sine.” An officer in charge of a camp is not pronounced “co-MAND-dant.” I would bet that 9 of 10 customers are military history buffs like myself, and hearing these mistakes is like nails on a chalkboard. You guys need to up your game if you are going to narrate military subjects.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Difficult Story to Hear!

This is an amazing but brutal story of Japan’s atrocities in the Philippines. If you don’t like violence, you won’t enjoy this book, an emotional gripping and gut-wrenching story.

4 people found this helpful

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Something not taught in schools.

I knew a bit about what happened through reading articles, but this was an eye opener. I had never really heard how brutal. We have always heard about the Germans but think the Japanese got off easy...

3 people found this helpful

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Poor narration

The narrator does not do the story or the author justice. He cannot pronounce key words like the main character's name or basic military terminology such as "corps". Moreover his high pitched voice is better suited to the young adult fantasy fiction he apparently normally reads than to this somber, brutal story of wartime atrocities.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good but , hard to listen to in some parts.

While this book discusses the Battle of Manila, it is mainly centered on the Japanese treatment of the resident of the city, during the course of the battle, and the Japanese action are discussed for approximately 100 people, including a description of the number of bayonet wounds and other wounds, that each person received. These details are very hard to listen to for hour after hour. I had to put the book away numerous times because of the detail provided. IMHO A better title in my mind for this book would have been the MacArthur , Yamashita and Rape of Manila!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A gut wrenching history

Rampage is James M Scott's history of the little known Battle of Manila, a catalogue of Japanese army crimes against humanity and a narrative of the subsequent war crimes trial. What becomes clear in this fascinating and gruesome account is how ill-prepared the American forces which for much of the war in the Pacific in which they had fought the enemy in jungles and beaches were for urban combat. General MacArthur' leadership is depicted at the battle as at best distant both literally and figuratively. For much of the Manila campaign the general was headquartered well out side the city, and except for a few quick trips to Santo Tomas and other prisons had little real knowledge of the rapidly deteriorating battle terrain or the obstacles his troops were facing. Instead MacArthur spent time in staff meetings preparing for his celebrated return and planning a victory parade.

The Battle of Manila though rapidly becomes secondary in Scott's narrative as the majority of the Rampage given over to the Japanese army's rapid descent into chaos and barbarism. Toward the end of the battle, the Japanese troops acting on a fear of Manila 's civilian population, racism and General Yamashita's (Like MacArthur, Yamashita's HQ was well outside the city.) indifference causally slaughtered and systematically raped and tortured thousands of helpless civilians. Overall I found Scott's knows his subject well, though I expected more on the battle and tactics. However it was in his quest to "get it all down" that Rampage became for this listener mind numbing as chapter focuses and relentlessly details murder, rape and pillage.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Author does not do this battle justice

I reserve a 1-star for books that are so bad that I have to abandon it before the end. This book escaped that fate purely because the battle that it talks about is so historically important that I felt I had to persevere, but it was tough.
There were thousands of deaths and atrocities and you are going to hear about each and every one of them in grisly detail. Sure, the first time that you hear about a baby being pulled from their mother's arms, tossed up in the air and skewered with a bayonet it is shocking. By the 15th time, not so much so.
The author goes into the weeds so deep that you forget what was going on strategically. In fact, the author spends very little time at the strategic level.
There is also no countervailing story from the Japanese side, nothing. It is one-sided from start to finish.
There is arbitrary dialogue inserted throughout the book. This contrived dialogue is as if the author asked his friends for a few lines based on the situation and his friends weren't very creative. The narrator did nothing to help this with his vocal inflections.
The narrator also had a very strange way of saying "Corregidor". I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he did his research and this is the way that the Filipinos pronounce it, but it is unlike any other pronunciation that I've heard of this island's name.
If there were any silver-lining to this book it was in the last part which dealt with the trial of the Japanese general. It felt balanced and well-structured, unfortunately it didn't make up for the rest of the book.
If you like the books of Cornelius Ryan, Shelby Foote, or Stephen Ambrose you will probably not like this one. I can only hope that someone with their skills will take up this topic and do it justice.

4 people found this helpful

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The narrator could not be more wrong for the book

The one thing I absolutely hate to do is trash a narrator. This is hard work here and is a performance. Plus it's 21 plus hours, so it's no small feat. So in no way is this a demeaning take on the narrator. He's fine, but not for this kind of book. His voice is too light and lyrical. I looked at his other works, and it's mostly fantasy, etc. PERFECT!! That's a great fit. This is a story of WWII brutality and consequential war crimes trials. It is nothing but utter brutality. I can think of several narrators who would work for this book, but they also regularly narrate military history.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Woosh, Sound of air leaving lungs

I have been woefully ignorant of the Pacific Theater in WWII, despite my mother serving in the Marines in the Pacific. She carried with her a lifelong hatred of the enemy, which subject I dutifully avoided in her company. I now completely understand her emotions, her second-hand experiences, her patriotism.
This book defies description. If you think you know how low the human race can crawl, well there is a lower level. Rampage describes the MacArthur family legacy as your introduction to this point in history. The staggering detail, research, word-by-word, moment-by-moment history of this battle defies my understanding. It is riveting, completely absorbing and stunning in the tale that is told. To quote from the book "Even American investigators proved at a loss to comprehend the widespread butchery, exhausting the thesaurus for adjectives like diabolical, inhuman, savage ..." "The New York Times: 'As foul a tale of savagery as recorded in all history' ".

Yamashita's trial is a story unto itself. I had pity on the defense team, whose families were taking heat because of their participation on the defense of this individual. Surprisingly, some of the defense team held him non-accountable for the attrocities committed in his territories. And when the trial was handed up to the Supreme Court, I shook my head in dull denial, muttering "noooo".

I had no idea. I really had no idea how truly hideous it was in the Pacific. Now I know.

Jesse Einstein's calm mellifluous telling of this awful tale is the perfect underscore. I will be looking for more of his narrations.

I am already looking for more of Mr. Scott's books. His research is astounding and his telling is ... I, too, search for adjectives ... compelling.
(I completely agree with the review typed in all CAPS. This book IS all CAPS.)

1 person found this helpful