Ronald H. Spector follows up his classic account of
the American struggle against the Japanese in World War II with a revealing
chronicle of the startling aftermath of this crucial twentieth-century conflict.
Americans are accustomed to
thinking that World War II ended on August 14, 1945, when the Japanese
surrendered unconditionally. Yet on the mainland of Asia, in the vast arc
stretching from Manchuria to Burma, peace was a brief, fretful interlude. In
some parts of Asia, such as Java and Southern Indonesia, only a few weeks
passed before new fighting broke out between nationalist forces and the former
colonial powers. In China, a fragile and incomplete peace lasted only a few
months, and peace fared no better in Northern Indochina and Korea.
The result was years of grim
and bitter struggles, during which many suffered far more greatly than they had
during the war itself. In
the Ruins of Empire is
a sequel to the author’s well-known Eagle
Against the Sun. In
it, Ronald Spector describes how Vietnamese farmers struggled to survive another
war with the French, while US soldiers and marines were amazed to find
themselves sent to China and Korea instead of back to their hometowns. In the
meantime, five million Japanese soldiers, farmers, and diplomats who were
stranded on mainland Asia found themselves in new roles as insurgents, victims,
mercenaries, and peacekeepers.
Much of the material in this
book has never been published before, and it casts new and startling light on
events that shook the countries of Asia. Spector examines recently released
material on these events from Soviet and Chinese archives and two top secret intelligence
records released by the United States, as well as newly available Japanese
documents. In addition, the author chronicles the individual stories of some of
the Americans who were sent in to rescue prisoners of war and to tend to the
surrender and repatriation of millions of Japanese. Download and start listening now!