BOOK REVIEWS

Without Warning (2017)

rosenbergJoel Rosenberg, Without Warning, Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, 2017, 451 pp. $14.16

Without Warning is the third and final installment of Joel Rosenberg’s in the J.B. Collins Series. Collins, a New York Times journalist finds himself in the middle of a spine-tingling plot that involves the United States President, ISIS, and a host of other details that will keep readers awake deep into the night.

As one who reads the great thriller writers like Daniel Silva, David Baldacci, John Grisham, and the late Vince Flynn, I can say that Without Warning is on par with these authors. The characterization is through and the storyline is compelling. Rosenberg has proven himself in an elite field of experienced writers and will no doubt, continue to churn out books that not only entertain but also educate.

There is so much that good be said about Without Warning. But underneath the story lies a crucial lesson that the author clearly communicates in a winsome way:

Terrorism is an existential threat that must be dealt with bold resolve and decisiveness. Appeasement has never worked and will never work in the future. Terrorists cannot be negotiated with or paid off. Only swift and courageous military might will render terrorism impotent. The policies of the Obama administration are a testimony to the negative impact of political appeasement. Such a strategy only weakens a nation and endangers her citizens.

I commend Without Warning to a wide variety of readers and trust that many will devour Rosenberg’s top-notch writing.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

WWII

Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan (2016)

killing

Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard, Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2016, 284 pp. $18.00

Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard continue to mesmerize their reading audience with a new title in the ever-popular “killing series.” Unlike the other killing books which focused on specific individuals, O’Reilly and Dugard focus on a critical juncture in American history, a point where indecisive leadership or a policy of appeasement would have not only changed the face of America; it would have charted a new and tragic course in the history of the world.

Killing the Rising Sun explores the roles of a handful of American icons who faced a ruthless enemy, namely, the Imperial Japanese Army. Most Americans, it seems, simply do not know this story. They certainly do not understand the vicious nature of the enemy and the threat that the empire of Japan posed and the horrible consequences of defeat. Thankfully, under the leadership of FDR and Truman, America prevailed and effectively ended a 2,500-year-old dynasty.

A few features of this book are worth noting. First, the authors tell a fascinating story which is rooted in historical reality. One of the reasons that modern-day students recoil at the prospect of studying history is that many teachers and books are just plain boring. This is where O’Reilly and Dugard shine the brightest. They have an uncanny ability of weaving in the pertinent historical detail and simultaneously keeping the attention of readers. This feature runs through the other killing books and has proven to be a mighty boon for readers who might otherwise turn away from reading about history.

Second, the authors paint clear portraits of the key players during this period of history. They show the steadfastness of FDR, the bold resolve of Truman, and the courage of General MacArthur. But they also show the evil nature of the Japanese leader, Hirohito. Here is a man who portrayed himself as a “god-man” to the Japanese people, and in the final analysis, led them to the point of no return, which resulted in a decisive and historical defeat.

Finally, the authors help readers understand the importance of freedom; the priceless reality that Americans enjoy. We live in a country where the gift of freedom is taken for granted and even scoffed at by some social progressives. Killing the Rising Sun is a stark reminder of the sacrifice, bravery, and devotion of the American soldier. While much of the attention is focused on Truman and MacArthur, the real hero is the valiant American military man. Many of these brave soldiers paid the ultimate price of death. Some of them survived and bore the pain, either physically or emotionally which is associated with war. Now each American is the beneficiary of their devoted service. May we cherish the freedom we enjoy as American citizens and pay homage to those who went before us. They killed the rising sun. The world is a better place because of them.