The Rape of Nanking (book)

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The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II is a bestselling 1997 non-fiction book written by Iris Chang about the 1937–1938 Nanking Massacre, the massacre and atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army after it captured Nanjing, then capital of China, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It documents the events, based on the author's research, leading up to the Nanking Massacre and the atrocities that were committed. The book also presents the view that the Japanese government has not done enough to redress the atrocities. It is one of the first major English-language books to introduce the Nanking Massacre to Western and Eastern readers alike, and has been translated into several languages.[1]

The book was a source of fame for Chang but was also controversial; it has been praised as a work which "shows more clearly than any previous account just what [the Japanese] did",[2] and at the same time was criticised as "seriously flawed" and "full of misinformation and harebrained explanations".[3] It was received with both acclaim and criticism by the public and by academics. Chang's research on the book was credited with the finding of the diaries of John Rabe and Minnie Vautrin, both of whom played important roles in the Nanking Safety Zone, a designated area in Nanjing which protected Chinese civilians during the Nanking Massacre.[4]

The book prompted AOL executive Ted Leonsis to fund and produce Nanking, a 2007 documentary film about the Nanking Massacre, after he read it.[5]


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