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Author John Toland, 1912-2004, R.I.P.

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Author John Toland, 1912-2004, R.I.P.

Old 01-05-04, 10:51 AM
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Author John Toland, 1912-2004, R.I.P.

John Toland, Pulitzer-Winning Author of "Rising Sun," Hitler Biography, Dies at 91
DANBURY, Conn. (AP) - John Toland, who won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction for "The Rising Sun," a historical narrative of the rise and fall of the Japanese empire during World War II, has died. He was 91.

Toland died Sunday of pneumonia at Danbury Hospital, said his daughter, Tamiko Toland of Ithaca, N.Y.

"The Rising Sun" tells the story of the Japanese empire from 1936 to 1945, from the Japanese perspective. Toland described the book as "a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened - muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox."

Although "Rising Sun" won the Pulitzer, Toland may best be known for "Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography," published in 1976. "Hitler" became a national best seller that Newsweek called "the first book that anyone who wants to learn about Hitler or the war in Europe must read."

Tamiko Toland said her father may have generated the most controversy with his 1982 book "Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath," in which he wrote about evidence that President Franklin Roosevelt knew in advance of plans to attack the naval base but remained silent.

"I don't violate history," Toland said in a 1987 Associated Press interview. "I just try to follow the mainstream of history, viewing it as it happened rather than showing you something that happened and start criticizing what people did."

He said he went to Japan filled with dislike of the Japanese because of their actions during World War II, then ended up spending six years writing "The Rising Sun" to show why the Japanese acted as they did.

"You don't have to take sides. All you have to do is get people's motivations," he said.

Toland also wrote "The Dillinger Days" and "Battle: The Story of the Bulge."

Born in La Crosse, Wis., in 1912, Toland served in the Army Air Corps and later became a freelance journalist.

He is survived by his wife, Toshiko, of Danbury, three daughters and three grandchildren.
I read Infamy about two years ago, which I thought was well written and engaging. R.I.P. Mr. Toland.

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