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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (7,278 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Iris Chang Narrator: Anna Fields Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In December 1937, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred in the capital of China. The Japanese army swept into Nanking and not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured, and murdered half of the city’s remaining population, some 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly, the account of this atrocity was denied by the Japanese government.

The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers who performed it, that of the Chinese civilians who endured it, and finally, that of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. Among these was John Rabe, the tireless German leader of the rescue effort, whom Iris Chang called the “Oskar Schindler of China.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A powerful new work of history and moral inquiry. Chang takes great care to establish an accurate accounting of the dimensions of the violence.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “The first comprehensive examination of the destruction of this Chinese imperial city…Ms. Chang, whose grandparents narrowly escaped the carnage, has skillfully excavated from oblivion the terrible events that took place.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A story that Chang recovers with raw urgency…An important step toward recognition of this tragedy.”

    San Francisco Bay Guardian

  • “Stomach-turning, tear-wrenching, thoroughly riveting.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “For giving voice to their terrifying and crippling experience and for writing this timely remembrance of those who did not live to tell about it, Chang has joined the heroes of Nanking in a great service to humanity and history.”

    Journal Inquirer

  • “Chang reminds us that however blinding the atrocities in Nanking may be, they are not forgettable—at least without peril to civilization itself.”

    Detroit News

  • “Compelling in its emotional breadth, impressive in its intellectual width. From the first page, it seizes hold of your emotional and intellectual centers and will not loosen its grip until the last page, if even then.”

    Ventura Star

  • “Fields keeps her narrative from overreaction, using a finely tuned ear for inflection to emphasize the worst horrors. This is a real accomplishment, as it would be hard NOT to express indignation. Her intelligent performance makes this a remarkable and compelling experience.”


  • “Chang has written a forceful narrative that not only reconstructs the grisly events in detail but analyzes Japan’s reluctance to admit its responsibility.”

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by G | 2/2/2014

    " Such an amazing book, it was a human tragedy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rachel | 1/24/2014

    " Interesting topic, writing & analysis done by author not so great "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Katherine | 12/22/2013

    " Eye opening and gut wrenching. So often we read and learn about what happened to the United States, Germans, Japanese or Jewish during WWII. And not that it wasn't a terrible war, but there are many that have been forgotten during that time. This is the only book out there, that I know of, that writes about what happened to the Chinese during this time. You cannot ignore the history of this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jake Berlin | 12/20/2013

    " a surprisingly easy read for what is obviously a very tough subject. everyone should know more about this subject, and this book is a great place to start. "

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About the Author
Author Iris Chang

Iris Chang was a journalism graduate of the University of Illinoisat Urbana, and she worked as a reporter for the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune before winning a graduate fellowship to the writing seminars program at Johns Hopkins University. Her first book, Thread of the Silkworm, the story of Tsien Hsue-shen, father of the People’s Republic of China missile program, received worldwide critical acclaim. She was the recipient of the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation’s Program on Peace and International Cooperation Award and major grants from the National Science Foundation, the Pacific Cultural Foundation, and the Harry Truman Library.