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Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan

(Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  15,273 ratings  ·  1,569 reviews

The powerful and riveting new book in the multimillion-selling Killing series by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Arlon Boozer Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard are writing the best history books available today. Their books are well researched and documented. I see a lot of pre…moreBill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard are writing the best history books available today. Their books are well researched and documented. I see a lot of prejudice and ignorance in the question. Most people that complain about O'Reilly and Fox news never watch -- they are not interested in the truth.(less)
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Average rating 4.34  · 
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Start your review of Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan
Bill O'Reilly begins KILLING THE RISING SUN by warning readers of the troubling nature and violence the world witnessed in 1945 that is depicted here, and ends by recommending a visit to the monuments and museums describing the horrific damage. (can attest the Nagasaki museum is unforgettable)

Everybody knows the date December 7, 1941 as the disastrous day Pearl Harbor was bombed, but do you remember the date the first ever atomic bombs were dropped? I hate to admit I did not, but do now! Little

Jim Brown
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I have read all of O'Reilly's "killing" books. Patton was the one I like the best but they are all excellent reads.

I was NOT disappointed. This may be O'Reilly's best book yet.

WOW! I am not only a student of sorts regarding World War II, I am also a retired disabled veteran (non-combat). I was aware of most of the history that O’Reilly writes about in Killing the Rising Sun but I had no idea about a lot of what he wrote about, the details that have gotten lost in history. I received my eBook o
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You might not like Bill O'Reilly's political point of view but he is first and foremost, a history teacher. His historical research is on the money and he knows how to present it. With a BA in History, not much here came as a surprise to me but his perspective that Gen X-ers and Millennials might be unaware of the incredible sacrifices made by young Americans fighting the Japanese in the Pacific Theater is particularly significant. Their sacrifices illustrate why America is exceptional!
Ashley Marie
I find myself with not much to say about this book. As far as I can tell it's well-researched and doesn't show much in the way of bias, but I'm not overly familiar with the Pacific theater so I don't know if anything is missing. The war is presented very approachably. I applaud O'Reilly's feel for history and I might have to look into a few more of his books. If anything, this book certainly renewed and solidified my intense dislike of Douglas MacArthur.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, wwii, series
3.5 stars rounded to 4 because I love these books.

This one was a little harder for me to get through. It had way too many names of admirals, captains, colonels, etc., that I couldn’t keep track of who was who or whether I was supposed to remember them somewhere down the line. Too many names of weapons, battles, airplanes, ships, islands; it was too much overload. The second half flowed much faster as we near the end of the war. As always, I love the tidbits that would normally never be a part of
Amanda Felix
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: august-14-2016
It is amazing how much we, not just as a nation but as a people, think we know about history. Throw away those school books that have been sanitized, heavily edited or just erased history because it was politically incorrect or inappropriate. History is not pretty, it is not glamorous as we are lead to believe by the portrayal of our "Heroes" in song or Hollywood. This book throws that narrative out the window and replaces it with reality, with real people, real incidents. It is History not glam ...more
Mariah Roze
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for my hometown book club and I really learned a ton about World War II.

During World War II, the Japanese are the U.S.'s opponent that will go to any length to avoid defeat. They believe that surrendering is a form of dishonor. This book takes place in many different areas and countries where the U.S. fought the Japanese.

This book talks about Atomic Bomb and the use of it on Japan. Did it really stop the war like we were all taught? You'll have to read to find out!
Hank Hoeft
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a Bill O'Reilly fan. I am also very interested in World War II and have read widely about it. Consequently, there was little in Killing the Rising Sun I didn't already know. But I appreciated O'Reilly's brief survey of the United States' involvement in the Pacific War because I think it fills an information vacuum many people nowadays have, who do not understand why the leaders of United States decided to use atomic weapons against Japan.

I have taught high school English for almost thi
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Another in "Killing" series by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. I've had a mixed reaction to these books as it must be admitted that some opinion makes it's way into the narrative.

But then if we're honest that's true of any work of history.

Here we are taking a look at the events that led up to the use of the Atom bomb on 2 of Japan's cities. I must admit that to me this is a somewhat personal "controversy".

Each time someone (especially a "so called" leader) goes over to japan, beats his breast
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Popular history about the vanquishing of Japan during WWII. All told in Bill O'Reilly's voice.

The timeline of the development of the Atomic bomb, and examination of Japan's role in the war, and the atrocities the country still hasn't apologized for.

Not bad, but hardly a comprehensive history.
Rick Slane
I was given a copy. It was not something I would ordinarily read but it was better than I expected.
Andrea Miskewicz
I'd actually give this book closer to 2.5 stars, and here is why:
1. I like that this book was very readable; the average American with little knowledge of the war in the Pacific would learn something. It was a very easy read.
2. I think the authors took some liberties (especially in regards to assuming some of the inner thoughts of historic figures).
3. Most sources used to write this book were not primary - most research came from others' research - I would never recommend this book for academic
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up for its accuracy to facts of battles, island capture dynamics, medal winners bravery, marches too dire to fully describe, the horrific historic reality of event- all of that.

But I almost rounded it down for the style. That present tense declarative prose flow, it grates on me here much more than in his other books. I liked this one much less than several others. Patton novel was superb.

It's possible I have heard so much from the horse's mouth from men and women who served i
Gary Schantz
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a grandson of a WWII Navy veteran who was a gunner on the USS Izard, I was very interested in reading this book. I enjoyed how detailed it was without being boring or having an agenda.

I am only sorry that I never fully appreciated these events while my grandfather was alive (He died in 1995). I am sure he could have given me even greater insight had I asked. The only two things I ever remember him talking about was how they shelled Iwo Jima day and night to get the Japanese to surrender yet
George Briggs
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Truman Made the Right Decision

Bill O'Reilly has written another 'Killing Thriller' that was a real page turner. The events leading up to the dropping of the two A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are brutally described as O'Reilly documents the atrocities, rapes, and inhumane treatment of POW's throughout the war. Historians might question the morality of using nuclear weapons. But after reading this book, President Truman was more than justified. The U. S. might have lost close to 100,000 men in
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another of my walk-the-dog audiobooks. An insightful short history of the pacific campaign against Japan in WW2. Plenty of first person accounts to give a deeper look into why the USA had to drop the bomb on Japan. One interesting aside was that Tojo (Japanese Prime Minister) had tried to kill himself after the war rather than be taken prisoner. He was unsuccessful and was imprisoned. The USA made him a new set of false teeth and inscribed on them- in Morse code- was the phrase "remember Pearl H ...more
Bob Stockton
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Killing the Rising Sun is really a well written, engaging, defense of the use of the atomic bombs that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki which brought the brutal war in the pacific to an end. Today we find well-meaning people who are ready to condemn their country for the use of these two weapons. To them I would say "read this book." The horrible atrocities and murders that the Japanese inflicted on allied prisoners and civilians notwithstanding, O'Reilly's factual accounting of the number of ...more
Kristen Richeal
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative. Some very tough parts to get through pertaining to the aftermath of the atomic bombs.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in WWII
Excellent book detailing the final days of WWII and the bombing of Japan. The history is presented very factually and interspersed with personal stories that give it depth and immediacy. I consider myself quite informed regarding the history of this period, and I was surprised at how many of the details were brand-new to me. The extent of the research is obvious.

There were so many egos operating in the political and military arenas. Perhaps it requires that sort of conceit to be effective in suc
My first shot at a Bill O'Reilly Killing series book. I found the writing style to be engaging and readable, but somewhat overly dramatic and emotionally manipulative, I think it could have been told in a more natural style and still made a strong impact as the events depicted were plenty dramatic. It was however more even-handed than I expected, particularly as the stated objective was to prove that the dropping of the Atomic bombs on Japan was necessary. In the end, I learned a little bit more ...more
Al Johnson
May 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately as a historical book, this earns a one star. If it were a historical novel then the writing style and narrative would earn it a four or five star rating.

The first indication that the book would be filled with narrative bias, omission, and in one case incorporating false information was when the bibliography did not contain specific sources. Only a vague "for more information" and institutional references. If a writer can not cite sources to specific facts in the book, it is not a h
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The "Killing" series of books by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard are compact histories, which are well researched and contain often overlooked facts and gems of information not found in other nonfiction accounts of events past.

Killing the Rising Sun is no exception. The book begins near the end of the Pacific war with Japan, so you will not find the legacy of the code breakers who provided Nimitz and the US Submarine force with "secret" Japanese information. Nor will you find other extensive inf
I wasn't a huge fan of this one. Perhaps I've read too many other World War II accounts, or I was hoping for more, or something... In any case, I hoped for a bit more depth into some of the major players, battles, and circumstances, but the book seemed to be written on a fairly superficial level. For example there were perhaps two pages on Iwo Jima when whole books have struggled to cover that battle with meaning. Also, the use of the present tense was meant to engage the reader, but at times it ...more
Jay Schutt
This book opens in the fall of 1944 when the allied forces have already tightened the noose around Imperial Japan. At this point, Japan is being hammered into submission by constant bombing raids, but they will not surrender. With Russia invading Manchuria from the west, America must find a quick ending to the war to try to keep the Russian presence in Asia to a minimum. Hence, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This decision created a moral dilemma for the U.S.
Part of t
John Uit
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another exciting page-turner. This was a great overview of the forgotten theatre of WWII. I especially was interested to learn about the Russian invasion of Manchuria and more details about Hirohito. The author supports dropping the A-bomb, both directly and indirectly. I am personally thankful as my grandfather could have been killed in an invasion of Japan.
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another great for lovers of history

Absolutely loved this one and actually learned a lot of interesting history facts along the way. The writing put you right there in every moment. Highly, highly recommended.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I learned a tremendous amount about WW2 in the Pacific Theater. The sacrifices that were made by the soldiers on both sides were amazing...courage that is unparalleled.

Whether the U.S. should have dropped the Atomic bombs to end the war is very controversial. Many think it was inhumane to kill lots of innocent people. Others think the conventional war would have gone on with additional killings, torture, slavery, sexual abuse, etc.

One key statement was made by one of the authors. Bill O'R
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
Another remarkable tale by O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. These “killing” books just keep getting better, and “Killing the Rising Sun” is no exception. It’s easy to see why O’Reilly’s books claim the top spot on best-selling book lists. They’re well written, clear and concise, great military history lessons for those who don’t normally care for military fare. Lots of interesting factoids explaining events that you never learned in history class. If you’ve never read one of O’Reilly’s “killing” book ...more
Susan Crowe
I almost didn't get this one. I just didn't feel I would enjoy it. A couple of days before it came out, I preordered it from Audible. My format of choice for non-fiction books. While I didn't enjoy it as much as I have the past "killing" books, I did enjoy it and am glad I did get it. I was a little disappointed it wasn't a person that was being killed this time. Surely Bill hasn't run out of people to kill off. Looking forward to the next book. Hopefully it will be a person and Bill will be nar ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a difficult book to read! Not only because of the Japanese names and places, but because it held nothing back. I felt like I was right there with the soldiers and sailors as they took part in the bombs and raids of the second World War!

The book takes place at the start of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It tells of many of the ups and downs of the War through the eyes of the Americans and the Japanese.

The story took us to the Dessert of New Mexico and detailed the building and t
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Book discussion questions 3 68 Mar 11, 2017 09:50AM  
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Bill O'Reilly's success in broadcasting and publishing is unmatched. The iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor led the program to the status of the highest rated cable news broadcast in the nation for sixteen consecutive years. His website is followed by millions all over the world.

In addition, he has authored an astonishing 12 number one ranked non-fiction books including the hist

Other books in the series

Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series (9 books)
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever (The Killing of Historical Figures)
  • Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot (The Killing of Historical Figures)
  • Killing Jesus: A History
  • Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General
  • Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency (Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series)
  • Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence
  • Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History
  • Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars in America

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