I've just reviewed Tears in the Darkness, a capacious, brilliantly narrated account of the Bataan Death March in World War II, featuring interviews with Japanese, American and Filipino veteran and civilian survivors. Former NYT correspondent Michael Norman and his wife, author and NYU professor Elizabeth M. Norman, spent ten years researching events surrounding and involving the largest ever US military surrender and one of the most brutal and sadistic POW horrors in recorded history. The result is a riveting book that is as artfully structured and well written as it is excruciating. John Dower (Embracing Defeat) and Herbert Bix (Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan), in particular, arguably raised the bar for English-language books on the Pacific War by conducting extensive research and interviews in Japan and with the Japanese. The Normans rise to the challenge admirably.
Tears conveys our capacity for stark inhumanity with novelistic intimacy. My review is out in this month's Bookforum.