RAMPAGE - by James M. Scott - Book Review - Commentary Jan 28, 2019 18:04:48 GMT 8 Karl Welteke, chadhill, and 1 more like this
Post by EXO on Jan 28, 2019 18:04:48 GMT 8
I post the following for Lou Jurika, its author:
Author – James M. Scott, W.W. Norton & Co., 2018, ISBN 978-0-393-24694-0
This book is surely the definitive account of the historical and cultural tragedy that was the destruction of old Manila, a battle that lasted a month and reduced the “Pearl of The Orient” to ashes and rubble with an estimated 100,000 civilian dead. The effects linger on in Manila today from the devastation and Japanese brutality.
“Rampage” is deeply researched and it’s also balanced and readable, nuanced with much testimony from survivors and observers. The author develops all of the crucial timelines of the forces proceeding to their eventual collision in 1945, with vignettes from earlier years that keep the reader’s attention through all 515 pages, with another 200 pages of notes and documentation. It is riveting stuff.
I took this book with me to the Philippines for 30 days in December, 2018, and I could not put it down. There were also moments in which I had to put it down. Accounts of the holocaust in the city rebound between the horrific and the poignant. Altogether a scholarly work for armchair historians, Southeast Asia experts, and veterans, it might serve as required reading for Philippine Military Academy cadets and history majors in Philippine universities inasmuch as the younger generation is fairly uninformed about this calamity in their history. On the other hand, this book will probably not do well in Japan, where an honest self-examination about WWII is off-limits and history textbooks won’t touch the topic.
Full disclosure – my grandmother Blanche Walker Jurika was executed in Manila (along with other members of her underground resistance group) by the Japanese in August, 1944, five months before US forces arrived. I was born in Manila in 1947 and am quite familiar with WWII events in the Philippines, but this book sheds light on many things I had not known. There are other books about the Battle of Manila, but none comes close to what is contained in “Rampage”.
I have also met James Scott and heard him speak regarding “Target Tokyo”, his book about the 1942 Doolittle Raid, a book in which my uncle Steven Jurika, USN, is mentioned. The in-depth research undertaken for that book unearthed material that had been overlooked or never found by the many previous authors on the topic. James M. Scott has accomplished the very same fine job with “Rampage”.
Louis Lee Jurika, Texas, January 21, 2019