Iris Chang first heard stories about the Nanking massacre as a young girl. During World War II, her parents told her, Japanese soldiers had slaughtered babies with bayonets. The Yangtze River had run red with blood; thousands of Chinese civilians had been tortured and raped. They were grotesque tales, almost fantastical in their horror. How could such things happen, she wondered, and yet not result in a single book about it in the public libraries in her hometown of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois? Years later, in 1994, Chang attended a conference commemorating the victims of the massacre, which had taken place in December of 1937. On the walls were poster-sized photos confirming the truth of those childhood stories. "Nothing prepared me for these pictures," she later wrote. "Stark black-and-white images of decapitated heads, bellies ripped open, and nude women forced by their rapists into various pornographic poses, their faces contorted into unforgettable expressions of agony and shame. In a single blinding moment I recognized the fragility of not just life but the human... More >>>