A narrative account of the Doolittle Raids of World War II traces the daring Raiders attack on mainland Japan, the fate of the crews who survived the mission, and the international war crimes trials that defined Japanese-American relations and changed legal history.
... in his engrossing procedural of a war crimes trial, Paradis offers a more troubling history than some triumphalist American chronicles of the Doolittle raid ... Paradis, himself a Pentagon lawyer who defends detainees held by the American military at Guantánamo Bay, has a keen sense of the injustices, vagaries and ironies of war crimes trials. His book’s authority is the result of substantial archival research. He gives a chilling account of Japan’s scramble to find legal grounds for executing the American prisoners ... a richly researched book ... While Paradis avoids lazy moral equivalences, his book, like any true war story, has something to disquiet nationalists of all stripes.
... superb ... One suspects that Mr. Paradis gives the Japanese officer a bit more credit for compassion than he deserves, but that does nothing to soften the impact of the three executions that follow ... Mr. Paradis writes history with ease and authority. He covers the raid itself, and the airmen’s fate, briskly and then turns to the story that interests him most of all: the challenge of bringing justice to Warden Tatsuta and the other Japanese officers responsible for executing the three airmen and torturing, starving and otherwise mistreating their comrades. Remarkably, the legal maneuvering turns out to be as riveting as the raid itself ... Mr. Paradis relates the courtroom jousting with a novelist’s skill ... Mr. Paradis’s storytelling is superb, and his research is impeccable. He is one of very few Americans writing about the Pacific War who have actually delved into Japanese-language sources; he even renders their titles in kanji characters and syllabic script. I do wish, however, that he was a bit more careful about the way words were used in the 1940s. I cringed whenever he innocently belittles the airmen. They were heroes—they were Doolittle Raiders! They weren’t 'flyboys.'
... provacative ... a legal expert and a skilled writer ... Best is Paradis' detailed and dramatic narrative of the tireless American legal effort to make the Japanese pay for their treatment of the Raiders. Paradis brilliantly describes the prosecution and defense lawyers, their motivations and legal strategies, as well as the surprises, dissapointments, mistakes, obstacles, and beaurocratic meddling they faced at trial. This becomes a gripping legal thriller ... the result is stunning.