Counting the Days by Craig B. Smith

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Readers can take comfort knowing that all six subjects survived, perhaps the only good news in these gripping though mostly painful stories about one of the many grim aspects of WWII.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Counting the Days is the story of six prisoners of war imprisoned by both sides during the conflict the Japanese called the "Pacific War." As in all wars, the prisoners were civilians as well as military personnel. Two of the prisoners were captured on the second day of the war and spent the entire war in prison camps: Garth Dunn, a young Marine captured on Guam who faced a death rate in a Japanese prison 10 times that in battle; and Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki, who suffered the ignominy of being Japanese POW number 1. Simon and Lydia Peters were European expatriates living in the Philippines; the Japanese confiscated their house and belongings, imprisoned them, and eventually released them to a harrowing jungle existence caught between Philippine guerilla raids and Japanese counterattacks. Mitsuye Takahashi was a U.S. citizen of Japanese descent living in Malibu, California, who was imprisoned by the United States for the duration of the war, disrupting her life and separating her from all she owned. Masashi Itoh was a Japanese soldier who remained hidden in the jungles of Guam, held captive by his own conscience and beliefs until 1960, 15 years after the end of the war. This is the story of their struggles to stay alive, the small daily triumphs that kept them going—and for some, their almost miraculous survival.

 

About Craig B. Smith

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Craig B. Smith is former president of a global engineering, architecture, and construction firm that has been involved in many major public works projects, including the renovation of the Pentagon before and after 9/11. He is the author of How the Great Pyramid Was Built and Extreme Waves.
 
Published May 8, 2012 by Smithsonian Books. 288 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Counting the Days
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
Mar 15 2012

Readers can take comfort knowing that all six subjects survived, perhaps the only good news in these gripping though mostly painful stories about one of the many grim aspects of WWII.

Read Full Review of Counting the Days | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jan 23 2012

These powerful and poignant interviews have been skillfully edited chronologically to present lives before, during, and after the war.

Read Full Review of Counting the Days | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Reader Rating for Counting the Days
89%

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