The Fall of Japan
The Final Weeks of World War II in the Pacific
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New York Times Bestseller: A “virtually faultless” account of the last weeks of WWII in the Pacific from both Japanese and American perspectives (The New York Times Book Review).
By midsummer 1945, Japan had long since lost the war in the Pacific. The people were not told the truth, and neither was the emperor. Japanese generals, admirals, and statesmen knew, but only a handful of leaders were willing to accept defeat. Most were bent on fighting the Allies until the last Japanese soldier died and the last city burned to the ground.
Exhaustively researched and vividly told, The Fall of Japan masterfully chronicles the dramatic events that brought an end to the Pacific War and forced a once-mighty military nation to surrender unconditionally.
From the ferocious fighting on Okinawa to the all-but-impossible mission to drop the 2nd atom bomb, and from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s White House to the Tokyo bunker where tearful Japanese leaders first told the emperor the truth, William Craig captures the pivotal events of the war with spellbinding authority. The Fall of Japan brings to life both celebrated and lesser-known historical figures, including Admiral Takijiro Onishi, the brash commander who drew up the Yamamoto plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor and inspired the death cult of kamikaze pilots., This astonishing account ranks alongside Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day and John Toland’s The Rising Sun as a masterpiece of World War II history.
“More suspenseful than any other chronicle . . .Virtually faultless.” —S. L. A. Marshall, TheNew York Times Book Review
“A magnificent telling . . . Leaves the reader spellbound.” —Cornelius Ryan, Book Week
“A dramatic and yet authentic evocation of an epic.” —The New York Times
“Vivid and tirelessly researched.” —The Observer
“Exceptional . . . History with narrative drive.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“History with the excitement of a thriller.” —Birmingham Evening Mail
William Craig (1929–1997) was an American historian and novelist. Born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts, he interrupted his career as an advertising salesman to appear on the quiz show Tic-Tac-Dough in 1958. With his $42,000 in winnings—a record-breaking amount at the time—Craig enrolled at Columbia University and earned both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in history. He published his first book, The Fall of Japan, in 1967. A narrative history of the final weeks of World War II in the Pacific, it reached the top ten on the New York Times bestseller list and was deemed “virtually flawless” by the New York Times Book Review. In order to write Enemy at the Gates (1973), a documentary account of the Battle of Stalingrad, Craig travelled to three continents and interviewed hundreds of military and civilian survivors. A New York Times bestseller, the book inspired a film of the same name starring Jude Law and Joseph Fiennes. In addition to his histories of World War II, Craig wrote two acclaimed espionage thrillers: The Tashkent Crisis (1971) and The Strasbourg Legacy (1975).