Tears in the Darkness

Tears in the Darkness

The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Details the 1942 World War II battle for the Philippine peninsula of Bataan, in which 76,000 Americans and Filipinos surrendered to the Japanese and faced great cruelty and suffering as prisoners of war.

McMillan Palgrave
For the first four months of 1942, U.S., Filipino, and Japanese soldiers fought what was America’s first major land battle of World War II, the battle for the tiny Philippine peninsula of Bataan. It ended with the surrender of 76,000 Filipinos and Americans, the single largest defeat in American military history.

The defeat, though, was only the beginning, as Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman make dramatically clear in this powerfully original book. From then until the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, the prisoners of war suffered an ordeal of unparalleled cruelty and savagery: forty-one months of captivity, starvation rations, dehydration, hard labor, deadly disease, and torture—far from the machinations of General Douglas MacArthur.

The Normans bring to the story remarkable feats of reportage and literary empathy. Their protagonist, Ben Steele, is a figure out of Hemingway: a young cowboy turned sketch artist from Montana who joined the army to see the world. Juxtaposed against Steele’s story and the sobering tale of the Death March and its aftermath is the story of a number of Japanese soldiers.

The result is an altogether new and original World War II book: it exposes the myths of military heroism as shallow and inadequate; it makes clear, with great literary and human power, that war causes suffering for people on all sides.


Baker
& Taylor

Following the U.S. surrender to the Japanese on the peninsula of Bataan in 1942, 76,000 American and Filipino POWs began the infamous Death March. This gripping narrative, told in unsparing but sympathetic detail, focuses intermittently on American POW Ben Steele, whose sketches adorn the book, and the hell of Japanese prison and labor camps that introduced these captives to the starvation, dehydration and murderous Japanese brutality that would become routine for the next three years.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2009
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374272609
0374272603
Branch Call Number: 940.54 NORMA
Characteristics: 463 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Norman, Elizabeth M.

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