Inside the Bataan Death March: Defeat, Travail and Memory

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McFarland, Sep 24, 2014 - History - 328 pages
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For two weeks during the spring of 1942, the Bataan Death March--one of the most widely condemned atrocities of World War II--unfolded. The prevailing interpretation of this event is simple: American prisoners of war suffered cruel treatment at the hands of their Japanese captors while Filipinos, sympathetic to the Americans, looked on. Most survivors of the march wrote about their experiences decades after the war and a number of factors distorted their accounts. The crucial aspect of memory is central to this study--how it is constructed, by whom and for what purpose. This book questions the prevailing interpretation, reconsiders the actions of all three groups in their cultural contexts and suggests a far greater complexity. Among the conclusions is that violence on the march was largely the result of a clash of cultures--undisciplined, individualistic Americans encountered Japanese who valued order and form, while Filipinos were active, even ambitious, participants in the drama.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - elenchus - LibraryThing

Received wisdom among U.S. citizens regarding the Bataan Death March portrays GIs as victims and the target of neglect and inhumanity at the hands of Japanese captors, soldiers characterized as ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cweller - LibraryThing

I had only limited knowledge of the Bataan Death March starting this book. I think Kevin Murphy did a great job of making me question my preconceived notions of what happened and taking a fresh look at the facts surrounding what happened. Read full review

Contents

Preface
1
Introduction
5
1 Virtue and Vice
19
2 An Armys Ethos
32
3 An Army Apart
64
4 Chaos Meets Kata
95
5 The Lens of Memory
126
6 Remembering and Forgetting
151
7 The Wages of Defeat
190
8 Facing Filipinos
215
9 Kinds of Kindness
239
Conclusion
267
Chapter Notes
279
Bibliography
303
Index
317
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Kevin C. Murphy chairs the Department of Humanities at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and two previous books. He lives in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.

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