Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire

Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire

by Richard B. Frank


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In a riveting narrative that includes information from newly declassified documents, acclaimed historian Richard B. Frank gives a scrupulously detailed explanation of the critical months leading up to the dropping of the atomic bomb. Frank explains how American leaders learned in the summer of 1945 that their alternate strategy to end the war by invasion had been shattered by the massive Japanese buildup on Kyushu, and that intercepted diplomatic documents also revealed the dismal prospects of negotiation. Here also, for the first time, is a comprehensive account of how Japan's leaders were willing to risk complete annihilation to preserve the nation's existing order. Frank's comprehensive account demolishes long-standing myths with the stark realities of this great historical controversy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141001463
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/01/2001
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 218,036
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Richard B. Frank was born in Kansas in 1947. He served for almost four years in the United States Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam as an aerorifle platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. He is the author of Guadalcanal.

Read an Excerpt

Tokyo Burns:  Raid of March 9-10

Excerpted from "Downfall"
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Copyright © 2001 Richard B. Frank.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Bob1438 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Persuasive argument that dropping the bomb on Japan was necessary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book, which describes the end of World War 2 in the Pacific. Strengths: Well researched Focused Provides context for the critical decisions of the time clearly showing what information decision makers had access to Covers both sides of the conflict Weaknesses: None, in my opinion this is the most authoritative book on the subject
DragonDancerRB More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books of the Pacific War. It goes in chronological order and reveals what Imperial Japan was communicating to its troops and diplomats during WWII. The best part of this book is Franks doesn't interject his opinion. It is left to the reader to interpret. As a professor in Japan, I gave copies of this book to the school’s history department and library. After reading it, they thought it was a valuable addition to their collection.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly researched and superbly written, Richard Frank's Downfall is the best existing book on the end of World War II in the Pacific. His analysis is balanced and judicious. In particular, Frank avoids the common trap of assessing past actions in the light of later knowledge by attempting to examine the strategic choices faced by both the United States and Japan in the context of what was known at the time. What he makes most clear is that American policy makers had no compelling evidence to suggest that the Japanese could be compelled to surrender in an organized fashion by conventional methods, that indeed all the possible routes to that end were fraught with terrible uncertainties. This book will not end all the controversy over the use of the atomic bomb but Frank's fundamentally objective analysis, if not all his conclusions, must be dealt with by all future arguments on the subject. It is superb work of history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally, an author who makes use of all the available resources and presents a compelling, balanced account of the decision to use the Atomic bomb. I challenge anyone to present a more complete, persuasive case against its use.