The best kamikaze books 📚

Browse the best books on kamikaze as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II

Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II

By Michael Bess

Why this book?

Leaders, soldiers, and civilians around the world faced a dizzying array of ethical dilemmas during the course of the conflict. From the decision to drop the atomic bomb and making alliances with dictators to the role of kamikaze pilots and war crimes trials, Bess considers the ethics of warfare from multiple viewpoints. He shakes up our conventional wisdom about wartime decision making and shows how the legacies of those choices remain with us today.

From the list:

The best books that will challenge how your think about WWII in Europe

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Book cover of The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan

The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan

By Ivan Morris

Why this book?

The Japanese love underdogs. Ten are portrayed here, ranging from the 4th to the 20th centuries, with storylines that Shakespeare would’ve stolen if only he’d known about them. A terrific round-up that will inspire you to delve deeper into Japanese history.

From the list:

The best books about pre-modern Japan

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Book cover of The Blossom and the Firefly

The Blossom and the Firefly

By Sherri L. Smith

Why this book?

Unexpected for a book about kamikaze, this is a quiet and gentle story, about two young people—Taro, a kamikaze pilot, and Hana, one of the Nadeshiko Tai, assigned to serve the pilots—who meet through a shared vital love of music. They both know the inevitability and finality of Taro’s upcoming mission; they both are at the mercy of circumstances beyond their control. Yet their hopes and dreams remain larger than the war. This is another one that will stay with you for a long time.

From the list:

The best unusual YA books about WWII

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Book cover of All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945

All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-1945

By Sir Max Hastings

Why this book?

Max Hastings is the author of more than thirty books, many of them about the Second World War. All Hell Let Loose describes the Second World War in considerable detail but focuses on the human experience of what it was like to be a participant in this critical period of history. For its breadth, its power of expression, and penetrating analysis, this book is unsurpassed. There are many excellent single-volume studies of the Second World War, but I rate this as one of the very best.

From the list:

The best books on World War 2 published after 2000

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Book cover of Japan Story: In Search of a Nation, 1850 to the Present

Japan Story: In Search of a Nation, 1850 to the Present

By Christopher Harding

Why this book?

This is a thoughtful and well-written account of Japan's history since the Meiji restoration. The book is enlivened by multiple narrative themes, from feminism to socialism, most of which run counter to the official government version of the nation's history.

From the list:

The best books on Japanese history from the outside looking in

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Book cover of Number9dream

Number9dream

By David Mitchell

Why this book?

With similarities to Haruki Murakami’s style of writing, I love the structure of this novel. Told in the first-person narrative via 8 eclectic chapters, Mitchell weaves the captivating story of Eiji. Don’t try and preempt or anticipate what is going on, just go with the words written on the page and you will be swept up into Eiji’s surreal quest. The theme is a common one, boy searches for father, but it is beautifully written and executed.
From the list:

The best fiction books incorporating dreams

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