Killing the Rising Sun Book Summary - Killing the Rising Sun Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Killing the Rising Sun summary

Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

How America Vanquished World War II Japan

4.3 (81 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard is a historical account of the Pacific War's culmination. It exposes the brutality faced by both soldiers and civilians, delves into the science behind the atomic bomb, and reveals how America claimed victory.

Table of Contents

    Killing the Rising Sun
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Toward the end of World War II, Japanese soldiers were still fighting tooth and nail against American invaders.

    On December 7, 1941, the United States was left without a choice.

    The Japanese military had been eager to show their strength and dominance of the Pacific region, so they unleashed a horrific surprise attack on the American naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing nearly 2,500 men.

    The United States had never experienced an attack like this, so there was little doubt about what would come next: the country declared war on Japan and joined the Allied forces in World War II.

    Fast forward to the autumn of 1944, and the Allies were on the verge of winning the war; only the incredibly resilient and fierce Japanese army stood in their way.

    General Douglas MacArthur was ready to apply the crushing blow, and he planned to deliver it on October 20, 1944.

    It was called A-Day, short for Attack Day, and over 100,000 US Army troops under MacArthur’s command were sent onto the beaches and into the jungles of the Philippines.

    Given the proximity of the Philippines to Japan, this invasion was a strategic necessity if they were to have any hope of successfully invading Japan.

    MacArthur had reason to be optimistic: intelligence reports had predicted minimal enemy resistance. Yet weeks of bloody combat and fierce resistance followed, and it soon became clear that finishing off the Pacific campaign was going to be anything but easy.

    It was the same story approximately 700 miles to the east, on the small island of Peleliu.

    The Americans were desperate to secure an airstrip on this little speck in the Pacific Ocean, and once again the intelligence reports gave reason to be optimistic. But the Japanese forces were deeply entrenched and weren’t giving up an inch of land without inflicting horrific casualties on their American invaders.

    Little did the US forces know that the Imperial Japanese Army was fighting under the code of Bushido, one of the strongest beliefs of the samurai, which views surrender as an appalling dishonor.

    So, a battle that was supposed to last four days stretched on for 12 blood-soaked weeks, resulting in more than 6,500 American casualties before the island of Peleliu finally came under American control.


    Want to see all full key ideas from Killing the Rising Sun?

    Key ideas in Killing the Rising Sun

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Killing the Rising Sun about?

    Killing the Rising Sun (2016) tells the story of the Pacific War, which took place between 1941 and 1945, and its main belligerents, the United States and Japan. From the attack on Pearl Harbor to bloody invasions of Japan to the development of the world’s first atomic bomb, the book portrays the brutality of World War II from a US perspective, and describes how the war was eventually won.

    Killing the Rising Sun Review

    Killing the Rising Sun (2016) uncovers the events leading to Japan's surrender in World War II and the end of the Pacific War. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Through meticulous research and detailed storytelling, it provides a vivid account of the pivotal moments that changed the course of history.
    • The book offers insightful analysis into the motives and strategies of both the Allies and the Japanese, shedding light on the complexities of war.
    • By presenting lesser-known perspectives and untold stories, it captivates readers with its fascinating exploration of a significant chapter in world history.

    Best quote from Killing the Rising Sun

    General Douglas MacArthur received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines, making him and his father, General Arthur MacArthur Jr., the first father and son to be awarded the medal.

    —Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
    example alt text

    Who should read Killing the Rising Sun?

    • Fans of world history and politics
    • Military enthusiasts
    • Anyone obsessed with or fascinated by the story of World War II

    About the Author

    Bill O’Reilly is a journalist and television personality best known for his conservative political commentary show, The O’Reilly Factor, broadcast on Fox News. He is also the author of numerous books, including Killing Kennedy, Killing Reagan and Killing Jesus.

    Martin Dugard is an American author and journalist. His books include The Last Voyage of Columbus, Killing Kennedy, Killing Reagan and Killing Jesus.

    Categories with Killing the Rising Sun

    Book summaries like Killing the Rising Sun

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Killing the Rising Sun FAQs 

    What is the main message of Killing the Rising Sun?

    The main message of Killing the Rising Sun is a historical account of the Pacific War and the efforts to end World War II.

    How long does it take to read Killing the Rising Sun?

    The reading time for Killing the Rising Sun varies from person to person, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Killing the Rising Sun a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Killing the Rising Sun is a captivating read that offers a well-researched perspective on a significant period of history.

    Who is the author of Killing the Rising Sun?

    The authors of Killing the Rising Sun are Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.

    What to read after Killing the Rising Sun?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Killing the Rising Sun, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
    • The Doomsday Machine by Daniel Ellsberg
    • The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather
    • Command and Control by Eric Schlosser
    • Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder
    • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
    • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
    • Do Breathe by Michael Townsend Williams
    • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
    • Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton