Tears in the Darkness by Michael Norman audiobook

Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath

By Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman
Read by Michael Prichard

Tantor Audio
17.24 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781400181674

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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; and it makes clear, with great literary and human power, that war causes suffering for people on all sides.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

Winner of the 2010 Audie Award for Best History Narration

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; and it makes clear, with great literary and human power, that war causes suffering for people on all sides.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A lean, moving account…many books have described the atrocities. Prisoners were starved, beaten, and killed. This is different…Powerful.” USA Today
The narrative even humanizes the anguished Japanese commanders condemned by a victor's justice that held them accountable for offenses of out-of-control subordinates.... Indispensable. Booklist Starred Review
“Stirring and humane…Tears in the Darkness is authoritative history. Ten years in the making, it is based on hundreds of interviews with American, Filipino, and Japanese combatants. But it is also a narrative achievement. The book seamlessly blends a wide-angle view with the stories of many individual participants. And at this book’s beating emotional heart is the tale of just one American soldier, a young cowboy and aspiring artist out of Montana named Ben Steele.” New York Times
“Deeply researched and finely documented, Tears in the Darkness is written brilliantly in lucid prose…A model of excellence in historical bookmaking…I couldn’t put it down.” Washington Times
“An extremely detailed and thoroughly chilling treatment that, given the passage of time and thinning of ranks, could serve as popular history’s final say on the subject.” Associated Press
“Balanced, beautifully written…Many books have examined World War II in the Philippines, but none of them pack the punch of or are as beautifully written as this compelling volume…A superb book about the unspeakable tragedy of war and the triumph of the human spirit.” Christian Science Monitor
“Unlike historians who have spotlighted the titans—MacArthur and Wainwright, Yamashita and Homma—who matched strategies in the Philippines in 1942, the Normans focus on the ordinary soldiers who bore the brunt of the wartime savagery. …[including] bitter experiences of very human and often guilt-wracked Japanese…An indispensable addition to every World War II collection.” Booklist (starred review)
“Narrator Michael Prichard has a way of sounding authentic with foreign languages simply by sounding so sure of himself. He does this with the abundant Japanese names and places herein without trying to imitate a native speaker or create characters. Prichard’s serious presence fades into the background as the authors’ tales of brutality, disease, starvation, and death take the spotlight. Winner of a 2010 Audie Award.” AudioFile
“A gripping narrative…The authors are unsparing but sympathetic in telling the Japanese side of the story; indeed, they are much harder on the complacent, arrogant American commander Douglas MacArthur than on his Japanese counterpart. There’s sorrow but not much pity in this story; as all human aspiration shrivels to a primal obsession with food and water, flashes of compassion and artistic remembrance only occasionally light the gloom.” Publishers Weekly
“The authors conducted 400 interviews with survivors and have put together an exhaustive narrative. They focus chiefly on Ben Steele, who survived the Philippine battles, the march, and forty-one months in the slave labor camps. As much as a military history, this is the biography of a Montana cowboy transformed by great events.” Library Journal
“Assiduous account of the Japanese conquest of the Philippines in World War II and…‘the single largest defeat in American military history’…Drawing on the memories of participants on both sides, the Normans provide a careful history of a ghastly episode that still reverberates. Highly recommended for students of the Pacific War.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Michael Norman

Author Bio: Michael Norman

Michael Norman, a native of Seattle, spent his adult life in Colorado and Utah. He is a former police officer, state parole board member, and professor of criminal justice at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. His first novel, The Commission, was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2007. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife Diane, and their pit bulls, Eddie and Joyce.

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Michael Norman

Author Bio: Michael Norman

Michael Norman, a former reporter for the New York Times, teaches narrative journalism at New York University. Elizabeth M. Norman, the author of two books about war, teaches at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education.

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Elizabeth M. Norman

Author Bio: Elizabeth M. Norman

Elizabeth M. Norman is an associate professor of nursing and director of the doctoral program at New York University’s Division of Nursing in the School of Education. Her specialty is nursing history. The recipient of many honors and awards, she is the author of Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam; We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese; and numerous articles. She lives with her husband and two sons in New Jersey.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 17.24
Audience: Adult
Language: English