Iris Chang wrote this carefully researched book with three specific ideas in mind.
(1) To record the little known holocaust that occured in Nanking just prior
to World War II, and
(2) To demand that the Japaneze recognize their responsibility, and
(3) To try to understand how a military organization can be taught to
torture and murder on a horrific scale - without remorse.
The subject of Japanese brutality before and during World War II has been discussed elsewhere at length but I know of few other books that so completely describe man's inhumantity towards man. If any book can turn ones stomach, this one will. The accompanying pictures are undisputable evidence that it happened - and they are grotesque and disgusting.
There remains a huge doubt over the number of Chinese murdered. The author glosses over this as if it is unimportant. Perhaps so, but I found it disconcerting that she could not say with certainty if 300,000 or two million perished. I think the number is important and it should have been answered by her research - but wasn't.