• Retribution

  • The Battle for Japan, 1944 - 45
  • By: Max Hastings
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 27 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (664 ratings)

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Retribution  By  cover art

Retribution

By: Max Hastings
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's summary

In his critically acclaimed Armageddon, Hastings detailed the last twelve months of the struggle for Germany. Here, in what can be considered a companion volume, he covers the horrific story of the war against Japan. By the summer of 1944 it was clear that Japan’s defeat was inevitable, but how the drive to victory would be achieved remained to be seen. The ensuing drama–that ended in Japan’s utter devastation–was acted out across the vast stage of Asia. In recounting the saga of this time and place, Max Hastings gives us incisive portraits of the theater’s key figures–MacArthur, Nimitz, Mountbatten, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. But he is equally adept in his portrayals of the ordinary soldiers and sailors–American, British, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese–caught in some of the war’s bloodiest campaigns.

With unprecedented insight, Hastings discusses Japan’s war against China, now all but forgotten in the West, MacArthur’s follies in the Philippines, the Marines at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and the Soviet blitzkrieg in Manchuria. He analyzes the decision-making process that led to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki–which, he convincingly argues, ultimately saved lives. Finally, he delves into the Japanese wartime mind-set, which caused an otherwise civilized society to carry out atrocities that haunt the nation to this day. 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
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"Hastings is a military historian in the grand tradition . . . He is equally adept at analyzing the broad sweep of strategy and creating thrilling set pieces that put the reader in the cockpit of a fighter plane or the conning tower of a submarine."--Evan Thomas, The New York Times Book Review

"Compelling . . . To the broad sweep of military events Mr. Hastings adds myriad human stories . . . and he does not hesitate to offer his own keen analysis along the way."--Peter R. Kann, The Wall Street Journal

"The great merit of Max Hastings's many books on war is his skill at bringing the numbers, as it were, down to earth. Through the imaginative power of his writing, we get an inkling . . . of what it must have been like to slog one's way up a cliff at Iwo Jima, or be firebombed in Tokyo."--Ian Buruma, New York Review of Books