Books: KILLING THE RISING SUN

By Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard9781509841479killing-the-rising-sun

#1 USA Today bestseller, 9/22/16

What it is: The sixth in the “Killing” series of nonfiction books from conservative Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and his co/ghostwriter Martin Dugard. The series focuses on historical figures who have been the subject of assassination attempts, or it did until this book, as O’Reilly and Dugard apparently loosened up their criteria to include abstract concepts after running out of interesting dead people.

I was pretty excited to get around to this because I’ve been curious about Bill O’Reilly’s Killing series for a while. It seemed odd that when O’Reilly turned to publishing, he put his name on a series of seemingly nonpartisan history lessons rather than doing what most pundits do and cranking out on-the-nose topical lectures with titles like Left Turn to Hell: Why Obama Isn’t the New Hitler–He’s Worse. So I wondered: Were these books actually infused with right-wing messaging somehow, or was O’Reilly and/or his target demographic just genuinely nerdy about history?

Turns out that Killing the Rising Sun is for the most part a straightforward account of the end of World War II’s Pacific conflict, and a pretty compelling one at that. I’m sure it’s nothing groundbreaking as far as scholarship goes, and it definitely argues in support of Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb, but it doesn’t shy away from the horror of the bomb’s effects and generally didn’t feel like it was shoving a message down my throat. I even learned some stuff. Did you know that the bombers who hit Nagasaki were originally headed for a city called Kokura, but switched to their secondary target after experiencing technical difficulties? I didn’t! That’s crazy!

But anyway, here’s the thing: O’Reilly introduces the book by reminding readers of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s infamous “God damn America” sermon, which got Barack Obama in trouble by association during the 2008 election and which cited the atomic bombing of Japan as part of Wright’s critique of the US. So while most of this book reads like a fairly disinterested history lesson, you’re made to understand from jump that its real purpose is to remind readers that Obama and his friends are all a bunch of dumb libtards. Neat trick!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in books and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s