A truly heartrending read. The book permeates evil perhaps in ways that transcend even the most poignant memoirs of the Holocaust. The randomness of the whole Japanese occupation of Nanking is what makes this account so frightening. This book is simply too important to pass up and should be required reading along with the classics of the Second World War on the European front. Americans have no concept of what it was like to live under the Japanese Empire, but we lionize stories of the German occupation. The Cold War made it politically convenient to forget the atrocities the Japanese committed during the war and it seems that that sentiment has led to a blind spot in our understanding of history.