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  1. 14.7 hrs • 9/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Over the decades the reputation of the samurai has grown to mythical proportions, owing to such films as Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and Yojimbo as well as works such as James Clavell’s epic Shogun. In Legends of the Samurai, Hiroaki Sato confronts both the history and the legend of the samurai, untangling the two to present an authentic picture of these legendary warriors. Through his masterful translations of original samurai tales, laws, dicta, reports, and arguments accompanied by insightful commentary, Sato chronicles the changing ethos of the Japanese warrior from the samurai’s historical origins to his rise to political power. A fascinating look at Japanese history as seen through the evolution of the samurai, Legends of the Samurai stands as the ultimate authority on its subject.

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    Legends of the Samurai

    14.7 hrs • 9/1/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 9.5 hrs • 4/7/2015 • Unabridged

    On the morning of April 16, 1945, the crewmen of the USS Laffey saw what seemed to be the entire Japanese air force assembled directly above. They were about to become the targets of the largest single-ship kamikaze attack of World War II. By the time the unprecedented assault was finished, thirty-two sailors were dead and more than seventy wounded. Although she lay shrouded in smoke and fire for hours, the Laffey somehow survived. The gutted American warship limped from Okinawa’s shore for home, where the ship and crew would be celebrated as heroes. Using personal interviews with survivors, the memoirs of crew members, and their wartime correspondence, John Wukovits breathes life into the story of this forgotten historic event.

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    Hell from the Heavens

    9.5 hrs • 4/7/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 12.5 hrs • 7/1/2014 • Unabridged

    Sunday, December 7, 1941, dawned clear and bright over the Pacific … But for the Dauntless dive-bomber crews of the USS Enterprise returning to their home base on Oahu, it was a morning from hell. Flying directly into the Japanese ambush at Pearl Harbor, they lost a third of their squadron and witnessed the heart of America’s Navy broken and smoldering on the oil-slicked waters below. The next six months, from Pearl Harbor to the Battle of Midway—a dark time during which the Japanese scored victory after victory—this small band of aviators saw almost constant deployment, intense carrier combat, and fearsome casualties. Many were killed by enemy Zero fighters, antiaircraft fire, or deadly crash landings in the Pacific, while others were captured and spent years in POW camps. Yet the Enterprise’s Dauntless crews would be the first to strike an offensive blow against Japanese installations in the Marshall Islands, would be the first to sink a Japanese warship, and would shepherd the Doolittle Raiders’ bombing of Tokyo. Not until Midway, though, would Dauntless crews get the chance to settle the score. In June 1942, Japan mobilized the best of its Navy to draw out the smaller American carrier fleet for a final showdown designed to destroy the US Navy once and for all. What they didn’t anticipate was the gutsy dive-bombing pilots and gunners whose courage and skill would change the course of World War II. Drawing on dozens of new interviews and oral histories, author Stephen L. Moore brings to life inspiring stories of individual sacrifice and bravery—and the sweeping saga of one of America’s greatest triumphs.

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    Pacific Payback

    12.5 hrs • 7/1/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    41.1 hrs • 6/15/2014 • Unabridged

    This Pulitzer Prize–winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, The Rising Sun is, in the author’s words, “a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened—muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox.” In weaving together the historical facts and human drama leading up to and culminating in the war in the Pacific, Toland crafts a riveting and unbiased narrative history.

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    The Rising Sun by John Toland

    The Rising Sun

    41.1 hrs • 6/15/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.4 hrs • 5/6/2014 • Unabridged

    Michael Mair and Joy Waldron tell the story of the Kaiten, the secret manned suicide submarine used by Japan in World War II in this must-listen account. In November 1944, the US Navy fleet lay at anchor in Ulithi Harbor, deep in the Pacific Ocean, when the oiler USS Mississinewa erupted in a ball of flames. Japan’s secret weapon, the Kaiten—a manned suicide submarine—had succeeded in its first mission. The Kaiten was so secret that even Japanese naval commanders didn’t know of its existence. And the Americans kept it secret as well. Embarrassed by the shocking surprise attack, the US Navy refused to salvage or inspect the sunken Mighty Miss. Only decades later would the survivors understand what really happened at Ulithi, when a diving team located the wreck in 2001. In Kaiten, Michael Mair and Joy Waldron tell the full story from both sides, from the strategic importance of the USS Mississinewa to newly revealed secrets of the Kaiten development and training schools. US Navy survivors recount their gripping experiences in the wake of the attack, as well as the harrowing recovery efforts that came later. Japanese pilots reveal their terrifying experiences training to die for their country and Emperor, never knowing when their moment of doom would come.

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    Kaiten

    10.4 hrs • 5/6/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    11.2 hrs • 4/15/2014 • Unabridged

    Seymour Morris, Jr., combines political history, military biography, and business management to tell the story of General Douglas MacArthur’s tremendous success in rebuilding Japan after World War II in Supreme Commander, a lively, in-depth work of biographical history complementary to The Generals, The Storm of War, and Truman. He is the most decorated general in American history—and the only five five-star general to receive the Medal of Honor. Yet Douglas MacArthur’s greatest victory was not in war but in peace. As the uniquely titled Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, he was charged with transforming a defeated, militarist empire into a beacon of peace and democracy—“the greatest gamble ever attempted,” he called it. A career military man, MacArthur had no experience in politics, diplomacy, or economics. A vain, reclusive, and self-centered man, his many enemies in Washington thought he was a flaming peacock, and few, including President Harry Truman’s closest advisors, gave him a chance of succeeding. Yet MacArthur did so brilliantly, defying timetables and expectations. Supreme Commander tells for the first time the story of how MacArthur’s leadership achieved a nation-building success that had never been attempted before—and never replicated since. Seymour Morris, Jr., reveals this flawed man at his best, a man who treated a defeated enemy with respect, who made informed and thoughtful decisions yet could be brash and stubborn when necessary, and who lead the Occupation with intelligence, class, and compassion. Morris analyzes MacArthur’s key tactical choices, explaining how each contributed to his accomplishment, and paints a detailed picture of a true patriot—a man of conviction who proved to be an outstanding and effective leader in the most extraordinary circumstances.

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    Supreme Commander

    11.2 hrs • 4/15/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 14.9 hrs • 4/1/2014 • Unabridged

    In Bending Adversity, Financial Times Asia editor David Pilling presents a fresh vision of Japan, drawing on his own deep experience, as well as observations from a cross section of Japanese citizenry, including novelist Haruki Murakami, former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, industrialists and bankers, activists and artists, teenagers and octogenarians. Through their voices, Pilling captures the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Japan. Pilling’s exploration begins with the 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. His deep reporting reveals both Japan’s vulnerabilities and its resilience and pushes him to understand the country’s past through cycles of crisis and reconstruction. Japan’s survivalist mentality has carried it through tremendous hardship, but is also the source of great destruction: it was the nineteenth-century struggle to ward off colonial intent that resulted in Japan’s own imperial endeavor, culminating in the devastation of World War II. Even the postwar economic miracle—the manufacturing and commerce explosion that brought unprecedented economic growth and earned Japan international clout might have been a less pure victory than it seemed. In Bending Adversity Pilling questions what was lost in the country’s blind, aborted climb to number one. With the same rigor, he revisits 1990—the year the economic bubble burst, and the beginning of Japan’s “lost decades”—to ask if the turning point might be viewed differently. While financial struggle and national debt are a reality, post-growth Japan has also successfully maintained a stable standard of living and social cohesion. And while life has become less certain, opportunities—in particular for the young and for women—have diversified. Still, Japan is in many ways a country in recovery, working to find a way forward after the events of 2011 and decades of slow growth. Bending Adversity closes with a reflection on what the 2012 reelection of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and his radical antideflation policy, might mean for Japan and its future. Informed throughout by the insights shared by Pilling’s many interview subjects, Bending Adversity rigorously engages with the social, spiritual, financial, and political life of Japan to create a more nuanced representation of the oft-misunderstood island nation and its people.

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    Bending Adversity

    14.9 hrs • 4/1/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.4 hrs • 1/20/2014 • Unabridged

    From an "illuminating and entertaining" (The New York Times) historian comes the World War II story of two men whose remarkable lives improbably converged at the Tokyo war crimes trials of 1946.

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    A Curious Madness

    9.4 hrs • 1/20/14 • Unabridged
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  9. 13.3 hrs • 10/29/2013 • Unabridged

    A groundbreaking history that considers Pearl Harbor from the Japanese perspective-and is certain to revolutionize how we think of the war in the Pacific.

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    Japan 1941

    13.3 hrs • 10/29/13 • Unabridged
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  10. 13.6 hrs • 9/3/2013 • Unabridged

    From Haruki Murakami, internationally acclaimed author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicleand Norwegian Wood, comes this work of literary journalism that is as fascinating as it is necessary, and as provocative as it is profound. In March of 1995, agents of a Japanese religious cult attacked the Tokyo subway system with sarin, a gas twenty-six times as deadly as cyanide. In an attempt to discover the motivations behind the attack, Murakami conducted hundreds of interviews with the people involved, from the survivors to the perpetrators to the relatives of those who died. Concerned with the fundamental issues that led to the attack as well as these personal accounts, Underground is a document of what happened in Tokyo as well as a warning of what could happen anywhere.

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    Underground

    Translated by Alfred Birnbaum and Philip Gabriel
    13.6 hrs • 9/3/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 13.6 hrs • 4/24/2012 • Unabridged

    Based on exclusive interviews with more than thirty survivors, Undefeated tells the courageous story of the outnumbered American soldiers and airmen who stood against invading Japanese forces in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II, and continued to resist through three harrowing years as POWs. Bill Sloan, “a master of the combat narrative” (Dallas Morning News), captures the valor, fortitude, and agony of the American defenders of the Philippines. Abandoned by their government, the men and women of the US garrison battled hopeless military odds, rampant disease, and slow starvation to delay the inevitable surrender of the largest American military force ever. For four months they fought toe to toe against overwhelming enemy numbers—and forced the Japanese to pay a heavy cost in blood for every inch of ground they gained on the Bataan peninsula. After the surrender came the infamous Bataan Death March, where up to eighteen thousand American and Filipino prisoners died or were murdered as they marched sixty-five miles under the most hellish conditions imaginable. Rather than picturing these defenders as little more than helpless victims of a powerful and sadistic enemy—as have most previous books about the Philippine campaign—Undefeated tells the full story of the remarkable courage and indomitable will that cost the Japanese invaders thousands of casualties on Bataan and Corregidor. Interwoven throughout this gripping narrative are the harrowing personal experiences of dozens of American soldiers, airmen, and marines. Sloan also provides vivid portraits of the officers who led the American forces, such as General Douglas MacArthur, who escaped to Australia as the situation on Bataan worsened, and General Jonathan Wainwright, who succeeded him as top US commander in the Philippines and himself became a prisoner of the Japanese. Undefeated chronicles one of the great sagas of World War II—and celebrates a resounding triumph of the human spirit.

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    Undefeated

    13.6 hrs • 4/24/12 • Unabridged
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  12. 6.7 hrs • 10/25/2011 • Unabridged

    Franklin D. Roosevelt famously called December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” History would prove him correct; the events of that day—when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor—ended the Great Depression, changed the course of FDR’s presidency, and swept America into World War II. In Pearl Harbor, acclaimed historian Steven M. Gillon provides a vivid, minute-by-minute account of Roosevelt’s skillful leadership in the wake of the most devastating military assault in American history. FDR proved both decisive and deceptive, inspiring the nation while keeping the real facts of the attack a secret from congressional leaders and the public. Pearl Harbor explores the anxious and emotional events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor, showing how the president and the American public responded in the pivotal twenty-four hours that followed, a period in which America burst from precarious peace into total war.

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    Pearl Harbor

    6.7 hrs • 10/25/11 • Unabridged
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  13. 8.7 hrs • 2/8/2011 • Unabridged

    On November 20, 1943, in the first trial by fire of America’s fledgling amphibious assault doctrine, five thousand men stormed the beaches of Tarawa, a seemingly invincible Japanese island fortress barely the size of the three hundred-acre Pentagon parking lots. Before the first day ended, one-third of the marines who had crossed Tarawa’s deadly reef under murderous fire were killed, wounded, or missing. In three days of fighting, four Americans would win the Medal of Honor and six thousand combatants would die. Now, Colonel Joseph Alexander, a combat marine himself, presents the full story of Tarawa in all its horror and glory: the extreme risks, the horrific combat, and the heroic breakthroughs. Based on exhaustive research, never-before-published accounts from marine survivors, and new evidence from Japanese sources, Colonel Alexander captures the grit, guts, and relentless courage of United States Marines overcoming outrageous odds to deliver victory for their country.

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    Utmost Savagery by Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, United States Marine Corps (Ret.)

    Utmost Savagery

    8.7 hrs • 2/8/11 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.6 hrs • 11/2/2010 • Unabridged

    By 1945, the US Navy’s submarine force in the Pacific had sunk over a thousand enemy cargo ships and tankers supplying the food, weapons, and oil Japan needed to continue to fight. Yet this once mighty merchant fleet continued to thrive in the Sea of Japan, where, protected from American submarines by a seemingly impenetrable barrier of deadly minefields, they provided a tenuous lifeline for the Japanese. With no knowledge of the secret development of the atomic bomb, senior American sub force commanders, desperate to avoid an invasion of the home islands, believed that if these enemy ships, vitally important to the enemy’s war effort, were sunk, Japan would be forced to surrender. For the first time ever, author Peter Sasgen tells the complete, incredible story of Operation Barney, the daring plot to penetrate the dense minefields protecting the Sea of Japan and decimate the enemy fleet. The brainchild of the dedicated sub commander Vice Admiral Charles Lockwood, the mission would hinge on a new experimental sonar system that would, with luck, guide American submarines safely past the mines and into the open sea. The nine submarines chosen, nicknamed Hellcats, were tasked with the impossible, and the combined crews of over seven hundred submariners all knew their chances of survival were slim. Based on original documents and the poignant personal letters of one doomed Hellcat commander, Sasgen crafts a classic naval tale of one of World War II’s most dangerous missions.

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    Hellcats

    9.6 hrs • 11/2/10 • Unabridged
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  15. 9.0 hrs • 7/14/2010 • Unabridged

    Continuously in demand since its first, prize-winning edition was published in 1973, this is the classic history of Hiroshima and the origins of the arms race, from the development of the American atomic bomb to the decision to use it against Japan and the beginnings of US atomic diplomacy toward the Soviet Union. In the introduction, the author describes and evaluates the lengthening trail of new evidence that has come to light concerning these often emotionally debated subjects. He also invokes his experience as a historical advisor to the controversial, aborted 1995 Enola Gay exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, which leads him to analyze the impact on American democracy of one of the most insidious legacies of Hiroshima: the political control of historical interpretation.

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    A World Destroyed by Martin J. Sherwin

    A World Destroyed

    9.0 hrs • 7/14/10 • Unabridged
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  16. 11.2 hrs • 3/2/2010 • Unabridged

    Whirlwind is the only book to examine in depth the human drama behind the most important bombing campaign in history. While the air war against Nazi Germany has been covered in-depth by many books, Barrett Tillman, a renowned authority on military aircraft and the air war in the Pacific, is the first to tackle the air war against Japan. For decades, historians and politicians have debated whether or not Japan was on the verge of surrender in August 1945—before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tillman argues that for all the widespread death and suffering, the bombing of Japan remains a great example of air power’s ability to end a long, bitter, and bloody war without invasion. Writing from the perspective of the aircrews and the generals and admirals who commanded them, Tillman examines all aspects of the human drama of the war, combining historical analyses with the words of survivors from both sides of the bomb.

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    Whirlwind

    11.2 hrs • 3/2/10 • Unabridged
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