Author(s): Iris Chang
This is the critically acclaimed, best-selling account of the forgotten story of one of history's most brutal massacres. In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered - a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written the definitive history of this horrifying episode. "The Rape of Nanking" tells the story from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers, that of the Chinese, and that of a group of Westerners who refused to abandon the city and created a safety zone which saved almost another 300,000 Chinese. Among the heroes was the German John Rabe, a Nazi, whose diaries Chang discovered and whom she calls the "Oskar Schindler of China". More than just narrating the details of an orgy of violence, "The Rape of Nanking" analyzes the militaristic culture that fostered in the Japanese soldiers a total disregard for human life. It also tells of the concerted effort during the Cold War on the part of the West and even China to stifle open discussion of this atrocity.
Iris Chang graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked briefly as a reporter in Chicago before winning a graduate fellowship to the writing seminars program at the Johns Hopkins University. She received numerous honors including the John T. and Catherine D MacArthur Foundation's Program on Peace and International Cooperation Award, the Woman of the Year Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans, and honorary doctorates from the College of Wooster and California State University at Hayward. Her work appeared in many publications, including Newsweek, the NY Times and the LA Times. She died in November 2004.