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Hampton Sides's vivid minute-by-minute narration of the raid and his chronicle of the prisoners' wrenching experiences are masterful. But Ghost Soldiers is far more than a thrilling battle saga. Hampton Sides explores the mystery of human behavior under extreme duress-- the resilience of the prisoners, who defied the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and unspeakable tortures; the violent cultural clashes with Japanese guards and soldiers steeped in the warrior ethic of Bushido; the remarkable heroism of the Rangers and Filipino guerrillas; and the complex motivations of the U.S. high command, some of whom could justly be charged with abandoning the men of Bataan in 1942.
At once a gripping depiction of men at war and a compelling story of redemption, this book joins such landmark books as Flags of Our Fathers and The Rape of Nanking in preserving the legacy of World War II for future generations.