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Extended Audio Sample The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II Audiobook, by Iris Chang Click for printable size audiobook cover
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: February 2012 ISBN: 9781455173938
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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.”

    AudioFile

  • “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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Jones | 12/15/2013

    " This is a detailed and graphic account of the actions of the Japanese military in China during WWII. It's chilling, and must be taken with a grain of salt (like all history) as it's written by someone named Chang. However, this story is not told enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elsa Binder | 12/13/2013

    " Not for the faint of heart or stomach. I think this is a story which should not be left out of a historical education. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sherry | 11/20/2013

    " boring. repetitive. the book felt like an excuse for the author to rehash and rehash the past out of bitterness. maybe because i grew up hearing about it from the perspective of my parents and i'm lumping them together because it all sounds familiar to me. no matter. this book was a waste of my time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Minli | 11/11/2013

    " I cried a million times reading this book. Probably the only book I had to close several times in the middle of reading it, since my hands were shaking so badly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irene | 11/5/2013

    " This was one of the hardest books I've read. The descriptions of sheer brutality were unbelievable. But equally important is knowing that this tragedy occurred. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 10/25/2013

    " This book made me feel ashamed to be human. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy Wagner | 10/22/2013

    " Extremely graphic history of the Japanese invasion of China pre-WWII. Hard to read. Stressed the Western residents (including Nazis) who attempted to help the Chinese people, the risks they took, and their documentation of the atrocities. Difficult to read! Be fore-warned!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nandini | 10/15/2013

    " Informative, horrifying, very interesting.. but everything you need to know is in the first chapter. Too much of this book is padding or self-indulgence on the part of the writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chelsea | 9/12/2013

    " This ranks high on my list of books I think everyone should read. Really shocking, and it's hard to shock me when it comes to war stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 R.J. | 8/21/2013

    " A harrowing tale, a brave author, and an important contribution to the historical record. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natasha Bruber | 6/28/2013

    " Thanks to a friend for recommending this book.. it was heart wrenching.. but an important read. Not sure that many people know about this holocaust. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma | 5/13/2013

    " incredibly upsetting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina | 1/12/2013

    " I am humbled that before I read this book, I didn't know that this atrocity occurred. What an eye-opening book to another chapter in our history. Chang did a fantastic job of not holding back and 'prettifying' the horrors of the Rape of Nanking. The mental images will stick with me for a long time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lawrence | 8/19/2012

    " A book about an incident during the chinese-Japanese war that that was the start of WWll in the far east. Students ought ti be required to read about the war crimes that JAPAN commited. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Loong | 7/17/2012

    " As a Chinese, I do think we need more books on this topic. It is a shame when this part of history is lost in the coming generation. A must read for all Chinese, especially for the younger generation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roar | 3/7/2012

    " Shocking!!! I love the way she writes ... as if she is struggling to hold back a tsunami of anger in order to give a dignified presentation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thamrong | 2/4/2012

    " I bought the book at Changi departure hall on the way home. Iris Chang style of writing is admirable. Simple yet eloquent and expressive. This is her first book which I consider explosive....vividly describing the cruelties of the Japanese soldiers during the invasion of Nanking... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marina | 11/1/2011

    " A friend lent me this book for 3 yrs and I never finished it so I'm giving it another try. He says it is a must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vrixton | 5/23/2011

    " It's kind of awkward giving 5 stars to one of the most depressing books I've ever read.

    It even has pictures in the middle.

    Incredibly disturbing, but it's important, I think, that people read it and know what happened. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karina | 5/2/2011

    " I read this book about 5 years ago, it's gripping pages are etched in my mind forever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fredrick | 4/24/2011

    " A vivid account of the Japanese occupation of Nanking, China, during World War II. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 3/28/2011

    " Invaluable story, but not nearly as literary or compelling as "Schindler's List." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 3/24/2011

    " Sure the book was well written and clearly a ton of research went into it. However, this is a truly disgusting account of the Japanese occupation of China. It is a true account of events in history but the details were so gruesome and disturbing to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lapeg | 3/7/2011

    " Un document édifiant, même en prenant compte des ajouts de la préface. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 3/5/2011

    " If you haven't read it, then you should read it. Terrifying historical fiction about the massacre in Nanking. I hadn't heard about this holocaust before I read the book and therefore I think that this book is important. Read it. "

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About the Author
Author Iris ChangIRIS CHANG (1968-2004) was a freelance writer who wrote for the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and the New York Times.
About the Narrator

Kate Fleming (a.k.a. Anna Fields) (1965–2006), winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award in 2004, was one of the most respected narrators in the industry. Trained at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, she was also a director, producer, and technician at her own studio, Cedar House Audio.