books · reviews

My Book Bag: Killing the Rising Sun

As I mentioned in my post last Friday about the Holocaust Museum, I do not handle the harsh facts of torture and death very well. That’s why I owned Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard for several months before I read it. And that’s why I’m just now writing about it several months after finishing it.

This book was an amazing account of the fight in the Pacific in World War II. In fact, it is such a highly detailed account that I do not recommend it for children below seventh grade. I do highly recommend it for high schoolers. I had my daughter, who is graduating this year, read it as part of her history curriculum. She was moved by it. It gives the reader a deeper appreciation for the men and women of the Greatest Generation, and for the sacrifices that all Americans made during those years.

This book provides a seamless overview of the lives of MacArthur, Eisenhower, Hirohito, FDR, Truman, Oppenheimer, and Churchill. It is a quick way to see how all of these men, and more, were united through history. For information on the European front of World War II, you might want to read Killing Patton, also by O’Reilly and Dugard.

The most interesting portion of the book to me was about the creating, testing, and finally, after a bold decision by  President Truman, the actual dropping of the atomic bomb. The authors build up the suspense with all sorts of fascinating and little-known facts about the dropping of the first nuclear bomb. For the history lover, the book is worth the read just to get to that information.

The end of the book includes letters from Presidents Truman, Carter, Bush 41, and Bush 43 about their feelings on the dropping of the A-bomb. Clinton and Obama declined to comment, which I found strange since FDR and Truman, the leaders ultimately behind the decision, were Democrats.

I have read the biography of Harry S. Truman by David McCullough, and I have visited his home and library in Independence, Missouri, twice. I already had a high opinion of the man who was our 33rd President. This book made me feel even more admiration for him.

History lovers and patriotic Americans alike will delight in this book, just be warned, it contains graphic information.

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