James M. Scott’s new book, Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila, is available now in print and Kindle formats. The 640-page book contains 16 pages of illustrations and 10 maps. General MacArthur’s visits to Old Bilibid Prison and Santo Tomas Internment Camp are detailed. The summary at Amazon.com states:
The twenty-nine-day battle to liberate Manila resulted in the catastrophic destruction of the city and a rampage by Japanese forces that brutalized the civilian population. Landmarks were demolished, houses were torched, suspected resistance fighters were tortured and killed, countless women were raped, and their husbands and children were murdered. American troops had no choice but to battle the enemy, floor by floor and even room by room, through schools, hospitals, and even sports stadiums. In the end, an estimated 100,000 civilians lost their lives in a massacre as heinous as the Rape of Nanking.
Cody K. Carlson, in his review in the Deseret News, says:
The heart of this book, however, is the stories of death and suffering inflicted upon the Filipino people, as well as other ethnicities, at the hands of a vengeful Japanese military whose soldiers knew they could not defeat the Americans. Scott examines massacre after massacre, such as the butchering that took place when Japanese marines entered a Red Cross hospital and indiscriminately bayonetted and shot both patients and staff despite pleas for mercy. No one was spared, not even Filipino film star Corazon Noble, who lived to later testify that she had been bayonetted nine times by the Japanese. Her infant had been bayoneted three times and died. Similar tales of death occurred at places like the German Club, De Le Salle and at St. Paul’s College, as well as countless other incidents that wove together during the battle like a macabre tapestry.
In his review in The Post and Courier, Jonathan Sanchez writes:
In Rampage, the war is agonizingly and microscopically close: the enemy soldiers, the Filipino and American citizens, the American generals. We see what they eat, what they wear, how they survive, how they die.
The review in the Kirkus Reviews states:
In 1945, Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines as he had promised, wanting nothing more than a spectacular military parade through the streets of Manila. The Japanese commander of forces in the field, Tomoyuki Yamashita, the “Tiger of Malaya,” intended to oblige by withdrawing his soldiers from the city, but an admiral named Sanji Iwabuchi had other ideas. Defying orders, he commanded his sailors and marines to dig in for a house-to-house defense of the city, co-opting some army units in the bargain. With certain death their only option, Iwabuchi’s command embarked on a campaign of atrocities in which more than 100,000 Filipinos and foreign nationals were slaughtered, with orders that they be grouped to save ammunition and then disposed of by burning buildings and, with them, material evidence of the massacre.
In his review in the Wall Street Journal (requires subscription), Jonathan W. Jordan states:
Mr. Scott does one of the finest jobs in recent memory of cutting out the middleman and letting the participants — hundreds of them — tell their harrowing bits of a kaleidoscopic wartime tragedy. The result is an eloquent testament to a doomed city and its people. “Rampage” is a moving, passionate monument to one of humanity’s darkest moments.
On 2 November 2018, Bob Drogin, wrote in the Los Angeles Times, in his review:
Scott, who was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for “Target Tokyo,” focuses in part on the 7,500 or so Americans and others held as prisoners of war or civilian internees in squalid conditions, and their dramatic rescue by U.S. troops. Although some of those stories are familiar, he adds a heart-rending portrayal of the brutal life they endured.
Other books by James M. Scott include Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor, The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines that Battled Japan, and The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship.